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Medic! Long Island College Hospital again facing death

The Brooklyn Paper
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Long Island College Hospital is a terminal patient — again — after Gov. Cuomo announced more healthcare cuts, including millions in grants that were slated to save the Cobble Hill hospital.

Former Gov. Paterson helped to bail out LICH last October by approving $62 million in grants to offset some of the hospital’s $170-million debt and enable a merger with SUNY Downstate in Crown Heights.

But the state Department of Health announced on Thursday that it would delay the grant — and the president of the company that owns LICH responded by telling employees that he’ll file for bankruptcy as early as March if the grants were still withheld.

Workers at the Hicks Street medical facility are divided on whether Continuum Health Partners President Stanley Brezenoff was just bluffing — but all of them are miffed.

“I think this spells demise for LICH — but I’m also not surprised,” said the former president of the medical staff, Dr. Arnold Licht. “The biggest villain behind this is Continuum. It’s suspicious that Brezenoff is waving this threat in our faces when [Continuum] stands to make a lot of money by filing for bankruptcy and [selling the LICH properties].”

Continuum officials stated in a press release that they want to proceed with the merger — which they said would “save close to 2,500 jobs” — but warned that closure is “imminent” if the grants don’t come through.

Elected officials who wooed Paterson last year are already grabbing their torches and pitchforks — and flipping through Rolodexes to save the bailout.

“The deal to save Long Island College Hospital was a huge win for our community, Brooklyn and the state,” said state Sen. Daniel Squadron (D–Brooklyn Heights) who joined Assemblywoman Joan Millman (D–Cobble Hill) and Councilman Steve Levin (D–Boerum Hill) in shouting in Cuomo’s ear.

“Simply put, [the merger] must move forward. LICH has helped keep Brooklyn healthy for more than 150 years, and it must not be forced to close,” Squadron added.

The Cuomo administration hasn’t commented on the grants.

The merger with SUNY Downstate was seen as LICH’s last glimmer of hope. In 2008, its budget was so bad that it proposed closing its maternity, pediatrics and dentistry divisions. The hospital also fired and laid off about 300 employees and has sold several buildings.

Updated 1:15 am, February 16, 2011: Dr. Licht is a former president of the medical staff, not the current president.
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Reasonable discourse

Cynthia from Clinton Hill says:
Elaine from Brooklyn, WHERE ARE YOU GONNA GO IF YOU GET SICK? HARTLESS _ _ _ _!! my kids go there for the doctor appts.
Feb. 11, 2011, 5:03 am
Cynthia from Clinton Hill says:
their*
Feb. 11, 2011, 5:04 am
Baddog from Crown Heights says:
I work at SUNY Downstate, they are not a long term answer for LICH. Downstate is bleeding money from their Victor Memorial investment and looking at very serious cuts again this year. LICH needs a private investor, the state can not save a money pit like LICH
Feb. 11, 2011, 11:24 am
Sid from Boerum Hill says:
except for Malpractice insurance premiums, LICH was profitable. Going to the state will significantly reduce those premiums(shorter suing period and cases are heard in the Court of Claims) just because someone works at Downstate doesn't mean they know what they are talking about.

LICH has been around for 150 years---longer than Downstate.
Feb. 11, 2011, 12:09 pm
LOLcat from Park Slope says:
My experience at their ER was awful and almost a complete waste of time. When asked if my internal trauma could have been caused by being hit by a car 6 days prior the doctor did not even acknowledge my question.

Did I mention the doctor didn't ask me any questions about my history and treated me for something I didn't have? Oh, because that happened. But don't forget, for profit healthcare is the best in the world!
Feb. 11, 2011, 2:34 pm
Tom from CH says:
to "LOCcat"

You said :"But don't forget, for profit healthcare is the best in the world!"

Yes, I agreed "for profit" is much better! Let's find a a way to profit from people illness, let's try to charge them a maximum.

When "for profit" is an argument, "greed" is right around the corner. We see it everyday (the financial crisis, the car industry and their safety programs, etc...)

I'm sad for you
Feb. 11, 2011, 2:49 pm
Steven from Park Slope says:
there* Cynthia, you had it right the first time...lol!!
Feb. 11, 2011, 5:27 pm
Joe from Brooklyn Heights says:
I would like to thank Cuomo ahead of time for letting me die in the future in a hospital that is less convenient and much farther away. If I am lucky maybe I'll die in the ambulance before I get there so the medics would save themselves the trip and just toss me over to the undertakers on Atlantic Ave.
Feb. 11, 2011, 8:39 pm
Sid from boerum Hill says:
more people will die as a result of this and other changes than ever were killed by old sparky...(its NY state's electric chair)
Feb. 11, 2011, 8:44 pm
Jon from crown heights says:
SUNY Downstate is in East Flatbush but nice try brooklyn paper
Feb. 12, 2011, 2:08 am
sid from boreum hill says:
there is a report from senator Montgomery office that the promised money will be delivered in time to save LICH...
Feb. 12, 2011, 3:21 pm
Luisa from Sunset Park says:
LOLcat from Park Slope- While not disputing yr account @ the LICH ER, I hope yr not counting on receiving adequate care @ Methodist. I recently negotiated via phne with EMS to take my mother to Methodist after they refused to take her to LICH where her Dr. practices (I refused to allow them to take her to the poor-excuse for-a-hospital that is Lutheran unless you've been shot or stabbed). Th Methodist staff must have been sent to Lutheran for training; what a mess- rude, inefficient, illiterate, arrogant! I arrived at 8pm to see my 86-yr-old mother who suffers from Alzheimer's and the ER staff did not allow me (or others in similar situations) to see her until 3:15 am, the next day. Disgraceful!

That would not have happened at LICH; I've visited the LICH ER, with one family member or another, since 1975 and we've always been treated well and respectfully.

Someone needs to investigate how Lutheran, Methodist and Maimonides continue to rake in billions in federal grants while delivering sub-standard care and LICH is begging for pennies from NYS. How about it, Brooklyn Paper?
Feb. 12, 2011, 8:24 pm
Cynthia from Clinton Hill says:

The Long Island College Hospital will remain open. In a meeting last night with Brooklyn elected officials, "assurances were made" by representatives of the Cuomo Administration that the HEAL grants will be released to fund the merger of LICH and SUNY Downstate Medical Center, according to a press release from State Senator Velmanette Montgomery.
Feb. 12, 2011, 11:45 pm
LOLcat from Park Slope says:
@Tom:

Sarcasm is hard to pick up the internet eh?

@Luisa

Yes Methodist also sucks, I was brought to their ER after having been hit by the aforementioned car. I was initially impressed at how quick the service was, I was in for an xray in minutes! However, they botched that xray and then forgot about me for 3-4 hours so sat there bleeding on the floor (I had to ASK someone for gauze, to keep THIER floor clean). Additionally they gave me the most overkill cast. I assume they just didn't know what they were doing so they gave me a gigantic cast to be safe (cause really why should I expect a medical care professional to know what they are doing.)

I said it before, I'll say it again, for profit is the best! *SARCASM*
Feb. 13, 2011, 11:16 am
Yvette from Clinton Hill says:
I'm surprised Continuum hasn't been investigated for mismanagement of funds. I mean this is the second hospital they are losing in less than 7 years and yet their executives are the most highly compensated. Can someone say huh?? Instead of our Government giving additional funds to a corporation that obviously cannot manage money, why aren't they being investigated?? Especially because while the non-union population have to beg, plead and pray for a 3% increase that is never guaranteed, the Executives are taking home more than $½ million in bonuses a year (that's on top of perks and huge salaries). All I can say is seek and ye shall find.
Feb. 16, 2011, 4:13 pm

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