LICH in limbo! Anybody want to run a hospital?

News analysis: If LICH closes, housing towers could rise
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Long Island College Hospital is under new management, if it can ever find some.

The search is on for a new operator, but the beleaguered Cobble Hill medical center will remain under the state’s thumb until Sept. 3, officials said in a court hearing yesterday.

Doctors from the hospital are trying to find a someone to take it over in the wake of a bombshell court ruling that said the State University of New York may be operating the troubled institution unethically.

Earlier this week, Judge Carolyn Demarest revoked the university’s 2011 takeover of the hospital, saying that there is evidence that the state had a possible “sinister purpose to seize its assets and dismantle the hospital” to sell off the ultra-valuable real estate on which it sits. The university has been attempting to close the hospital since February.

Doctors on Thursday said that they had been contacted by a number of potential operators and that they hoped to continue to run the institution as a full-service hospital, though possibly one with fewer beds, according to the New York Times. Judge Demarest predicted in her ruling that the hospital will be scaled down even if it finds a straight-shooting savior.

This is not the first time doctors have looked for a replacement operator — they first put out the call in February when the state started moving to close the 155-year-old institution — but the search is urgent now that the state has been given a pink slip.

Demarest had previously recommended that the hospital be returned to Continuum Health Partners, its former operator, but Continuum released a statement on Tuesday saying that it did not have the resources to run the institution that the state claims has been losing $15 million a month, which hospital advocates dispute.

Reach reporter Jaime Lutz at [email protected] or by calling (718) 260-8310. Follow her on Twitter @jaime_lutz.