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SUNY Board In Talks To Close LICH, Report

A spokesperson told stakeholders SUNY Downstate suffers financially trying to carry Cobble Hill's beleaguered medical center, according to the Times.


After 155 years of healing others, Cobble Hill's only hospital may be unable to save itself, according to recent reports.

A spokesperson for SUNY Downstate told The New York Times on Wednesday that the board has discussed the possibility of closing Long Island College Hospital, which it acquired in 2011, due to loss of money and patients.

Hospital representative David Doyle said a vote on the issue could happen in “the near future, as part of a plan to ensure that SUNY Downstate, a major teaching and hospital center in Brooklyn, could survive," reported the Times.

The statement arrives just a week after a damaging audit from state comptroller, Thomas P. DiNapoli, which asserted that financial problems at LICH have pushed SUNY Downstate toward insolvency.

LICH—which has 506 beds and was the first hospital in the U.S. to use stethoscopes and anesthesia—has been struggling the last 17 years to remain vital in a gentrifying neighborhood whose residents predominantly seek medical care in Manhattan, the article said. 

An average of 284 beds went unused each day of 2010, according to DiNapoli's report.

What do you think readers? Does this Brooklyn medical institution deserve to be saved? What are your feelings about Long Island College Hospital?

julie January 25, 2013 at 07:50 AM
People are free to choose wherever they want to go and thats fine. they go to manhattan when they can preschedule their appointments and surgeries and procedures. But ambulances go to the nearest hospital and there are other situations which might require one to go to the nearest hospital. It would be nice to have a real one in the neighborhood, no?
yelena January 25, 2013 at 03:05 PM
CONTINUUM destroyed this hospital as quickly as possible. They screwed LICH from day one and sold it off so that it would seem they were not responsible for the mismanagement, but they are. In the meantime Continuum is trying to sell itself off to a bigger hospital that would take on their debt and mismanagement for the remaining Continuum hospitals. LICH NEEDS TO STAY!!! DON'T LET IT SHUT DOWN! SHUT THE CONTINUUM BOARD AND THEIR GREEDY WAYS DOWN FIRST!
Faith Hope January 26, 2013 at 12:10 AM
It's only one word "Greed" the executive,president and CEO who run this hospital that makes more money then doctors,nurses and staffing should make sure that the budget to keep this hospital doors open 24/7 to serve the people in the 5 borough. When the hospital struggled with its finance with continuum and SUNY inherited the debt. The biggest failure in SUNY part was keeping the same people in there seats that came from continuum mismanage team handling there billing and keeping there manhattan hospital to handle there lab work ,how can a struggling hospital be able to survive when they are still working from a continuum system. While the staff worked with know raises the last couple years and the major lay off the hospital the remainder of the staff worked very hard on giving patients care. Many patients probably can not make it to there doctors in manhattan or was turned away by other practices because there doctors were not available just remember we at lich never turned our backs and took you in when your physicians were not available and your manhattan hospital was to far when your mom or dad had a stroke or chest pain or when your child suffered an asthma attack and lich was there to except and your manhattan hospital was not close but to far. At LICH no matter what race ,religion,or LGBT we are here to serve you as a patient, person because WE CARE. Whats bringing this country down is GREED because the rich wants to stay richer! And we crumble. LIFE
Marty January 26, 2013 at 09:47 AM
We appreciated LICH care several times in our life: from the births of our 3 kids to several emergencies in the last 20 years. Some people wants VIP services, this is their choice, but please don't talk down on us, the majority of the American people.
Marty January 26, 2013 at 09:50 AM
o Julie: you can preschedule an appointment/surgeries/procedures at LICH... And yes LICH is a real hospital and that for more than 150 years, please show some respect.
Alyssa Casciorizzo January 26, 2013 at 02:09 PM
LICH is very important to the community. It is a very good hospital and has excellent staff. It should not be closed. DMC should take steps to bill appropriately for services rendered and then they will be in good shape. DO NOT CLOSE LICH!
julie January 26, 2013 at 04:40 PM
marty I think you misunderstood me. I was saying that if people chose to go to manhattan healthcare thats their choice & not a problem IF its for something that can be scheduled. BUT they should realize that, in an emergency, they may not be able to make it to Manhattan & if they need an ambulance they WONT be taken to Manhattan. So if they live in this neighborhood, they should be very concerned about a LICH closure even if they usually go to Manhattan hospitals. They NEED quality healthcare in the neighborhood & EVERYONE who lives in this community should be standing up to stop its closure - whether they use this hospital or not. SAVE LICH!
Helen January 26, 2013 at 05:20 PM
LICH is very important to community and the worker who worke there. This is all about the money. Downstate is loosing money and their trying to blame LICH for this. Also they are trying to sell all the property's that LICH own to get out of debt. Maybe rich people has a choice to go to Manhattan but what about people who don't have this choice? They are not human or what? They don't need treatment ?
PATRICIA January 26, 2013 at 08:44 PM
I am a community resident of carroll gardens. I think the neighborhood should ask for the services they need. LICH can provide that care when the community requests change. This LICH can be our exclusive little gem if we all come together. iSNT IT ABOUT TIME.
Byron January 27, 2013 at 04:18 PM
How many beds at the University Hospital go unoccupied daily? All hospitals in Brooklyn have reduced the number of active beds due to Gov. Pataki's deal with insurance companies reducing the reimbursement rate and those companies demanding shorter patient stays per diagnostic illness.
Jasmin January 27, 2013 at 04:54 PM
I strongly feel this is the plan all along. When they decided to merge it was simply to gain profit and put on a good show like they actually cared when in fact downstate knew that that they was going to try to close us down.
lourdes adames January 27, 2013 at 10:19 PM
Please do not closed lich because my family depend of the hospital
CHRISTIAN January 28, 2013 at 04:03 AM
Great point.The only reason Downstate wants to get rid of LICH its' real estate value.Is this the only solution?How about fixing the billing issues or try to get rid of half of useless,as we all can see, administrators with a multi-million dollars combine salary.If LICH in such financial hall, how come the super expensive equipment was just bought for operating room.
julie January 28, 2013 at 04:32 PM
all of these comments should be sent to the people who are actually about to vote on closing LICH.... the SUNY Board of Trustees and Chairman Carl McCall (former NYS Comptroller) at rthe contact tab on http://www.suny.edu/Board_of_Trustees/
Tania Rodriguez January 28, 2013 at 05:25 PM
I am appose to having LICH closed down. The truth is that this neighborhood needs a place to go to if need medical attention. Not to mention, all the jobs employees will be loosing. My personal opinion is that, it is being closed for property gain. My daughter was born there and not only was I serviced but I had the best care possible. They were attentive, considerate and most of all they cared. I say keep LICH OPEN!!!!!!!!
jon January 29, 2013 at 11:38 PM
sean • a minute ago −+ Governor Cuomo signs executive order to close LICH hospital , proposes to convert LICH to supportive psychiatric/rehab housing to fend off Federal law suit.
Linda January 30, 2013 at 03:32 AM
Governor Cuomo, the SUNY Board of Trustees, Carl McCall, and Mr. Wiliams, are fooling no one. They are all croonies looking to have their payday. 500million dollars lines a lot of pockets, including our elected offcials. But how sad and disgusting it is when financial gain,back scratching and political maneuvering is the driving force behind the closure of LICH. Two years ago this hospital was needed when the merger went through, and it is still needed. Brooklyns population is not decreasing but increasing. Barclay center has not disappeared but more events are added monthly. This flu season was the worst in many years. ERs across the boroughs were overflowing with patients. We are still realing from Sandy's storm and its aftermath.Also, Interfaith Medical Center, in Brooklyn, less than 3 miles from LICH has filed bankruptcy and is fighting to stay open. So what are we left with in the immediate area? Brooklyn Hospital. And guess who the president of this hospital is good friends with? Does Governor Cuomo surprise you?.I dont smell a rat. I smell pure Sh-t.
Linda January 30, 2013 at 03:39 AM
I could not agree with you more. I have worked at LICH for 30 years and it is so apparent to me and all of my coworkers that this is highway robbery. Thank you for your support and your comment
James Hayes January 30, 2013 at 03:32 PM
Where did you see this? I was looking but did not see this online?
eve January 30, 2013 at 03:41 PM
don't joke like that. somebody will believe it. lol
James Hayes January 30, 2013 at 04:08 PM
I am at Downstate and we expect the order to close LICH in very very near future. (February at the last) Mondays Daily News Carl McCall interview in Daily News said" “The evidence being presented to the board against LICH is so negative that they would likely feel they have to vote to close LICH or they’d look irresponsible,” & "SUNY Chairman Carl McCall suggested LICH is sucking the life out of SUNY Downstate Medical Center which it’s part of — and Downstate could run out of money as soon as March." It may be very very soon LICH is shut down for good. It is a done deal at this point. So when you say Cuomo signed the deal, he is going to very soon. I am sorry to see this happen but by March LICH will be forced to close due to money. http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/brooklyn/lich-losing-money-excessive-rate-top-state-official-article-1.1249842
Linda January 30, 2013 at 05:41 PM
Last year at town hall meetings for Downstate and Long Island College Hospital Dr. Williams publicly announced that LICH WAS NOT NOT CAUSE 0f Downstates financial problems. What has changed in a years time? Downstates medical school, as discussed at a board of trustees meeting, will lose its accreditation this March if a plan was not developed to save it. It is not LICH who is "sucking the life out of SUNY Downstate, but just the opposite. SUNY is looking to close LICH so that THEY can recoup the finances to keep their failing institution alive.
James Hayes January 30, 2013 at 06:17 PM
What Dr Williams said at the Town Hall meeting was not an accurate fiscal statement! Because there are so many public sources that LICH was in deep financial deficit before the take over a full state audit was called for. The 990 IRS tax statements from LICH showed a $22-million loss in 2010 and $32-million loss in 2009, with a $26-million loss for 2008. The audit showed what was known about the huge deficits from LICH. The union at Downstate is asking for a state hearing to examine the circumstances surrounding the LICH takeover. Downstate is also asking the Attorney Generals Office to step up and examine is there was wrong doing in the LICH take over. There appears to be as the comptrollers report said possible incorrect handling of the take over. Where they legal? That remains to be seen. Are there issues with Continuum still with the contract with the state they got to handle billing at LICH? This also remains to be seen. I think we should all call for a state hearing, and ask the attorney general to look into this!
eve January 30, 2013 at 06:33 PM
Ok but in the meantime, Kings County is right across the street from decrepit UHB, they are trying to close the only hospital in this neighborhood. There were almost 50,000 ER admissions last year at that facility. Its a good hospital. Where are those 50,000 people going to go this year? All this talk about money but what about the people of this community who need that place? It doesn't have to be closed to solve DSMC money problems. Downstate repeatedly promised to "maintain a full-service neighborhood hospital" at LICH. If they cant keep that promise to the people of this community & SUNY doesn't want it anymore, they can hand it over to a viable hospital system that can.
James Hayes January 30, 2013 at 06:36 PM
I heard a possible plan for LICH was to turn it into an urgent care center and close the hospital portion. Then sell off any assets not needed for the urgent care center. Again we should all be calling for a state hearing and ask the Attorney general to look into this deal. Something smells fishy?
eve January 30, 2013 at 07:19 PM
yeah urgent care - like that worked real well for bay ridge at the old victory memorial. this community needs A FULL SERVICE HOSPITAL. It was promised A FULL SERVICE HOSPITAL. Downstate has done NOTHING in the 2 yrs that it had LICH, except change the name on its signs. It has done NOTHING to improve the financial problems & then complains that it lost money. Well, Millions of taxpayer dollars were used to give LICH to SUNY because it promised to make improvements and continue to provide a FULL SERVICE HOSPITAL for this community, not an urgent care office. If they cant do it, turn LICH over to another system that can & let Downstate go back to Flatbush. If my tax dollars were given to SUNY for a hospital & we end up without one, I want that every cent of those taxpayer dollars back from SUNY & Downstate as a refund for services purchased but not delivered!
James Hayes January 30, 2013 at 07:31 PM
Like I said we need a open hearing and the AG's Office to look this whole thing over. You will find no one promised a full service hospital. Yes millions of dollars of tax payer money is spent and out the window. My tax dollars have gone to waste also. We can never get back that money.
eve January 30, 2013 at 07:49 PM
beg to differ. do you live in this community? gone to any of the community meetings they spoke at? read any of the press releases statements they put out in our neighborhood papers? or read any of the ceo's blogs on neighborhhod sites like this one? They said over & over "we are committed to maintaining a strong, viable, full service neighborhood hospital at LICH". If LICH closes down instead of being taken over by another hospital system, as a taxpayer, your money is wasted too on something that was paid for & not delivered. If there is no full-service hospital (i dont care who owns it) I'm going to want that money returned to the state treasury by a Citizens Taxpayer Action under Article 7-A of the State Finance Law.
James Hayes January 30, 2013 at 07:58 PM
You need to call your state elected officials and demand an open hearing. Then demand the Attorney general looks into this. We need to have the people who made false promises brought in and testify under oath, then if criminal wrong doing transpired have criminal charges pressed. Hundreds of millions of dollars of tax payer money is gone out the window.
eve February 03, 2013 at 08:06 PM
absolutely but later. first Im fighting to stop the closure of this hospital. action first - questions later.

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