Best Hospitals – Newsweek 2023

Best Hospitals – Newsweek 2023

Best Hospitals – Newsweek 2023. Where did your hospital rank? Not sure which area hospital is the best? The study is only a helpful tool. For the best options contact us at or 855-667-4621.

How Your Hospital Ranks

How Your Hospital Ranks

How Your Hospital Ranks CMS Hospital Rankings

With first new star rankings released yesterday by CMS (Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services) this will be a little easier for consumers.  The role of Government in medical transparency have long been touted as a qualitative and cost factor.   The patient experience Star Ratings will make it easier for consumers to use the information on the Hospital Compare website and spotlight excellence in health care quality.

The Hospital Compare star ratings relate to patients’ experience of care at almost 3,500 Medicare-certified acute care hospitals. The ratings are based on data from the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems Survey (HCAHPS) measures that are included in Hospital Compare. HCAHPS has been in use since 2006 to measure patients’ perspectives of hospital care, and includes topics like:

•           How well nurses and doctors communicated with patients

•           How responsive hospital staff were to patient needs

•           How clean and quiet hospital environments were

•           How well patients were prepared for post-hospital settings

Only 251 hospitals–or 7 percent of those ranked–received a five-star rating under the new system, Kaiser Health News reported. The largest share of hospitals (40 percent) received three stars, including highly respected institutions such as Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital in Manhattan and Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago. Only 3 percent of hospitals netted one star.

Consumers will now see 12 HCAHPS Star Ratings on Hospital Compare, one for each of the 11 publicly reported HCAHPS measures, plus a summary star rating that combines or rolls up all the HCAHPS Star Ratings. These star ratings will be updated each quarter.  Also, the Nursing Home Compare site already uses star ratings to help consumers compare nursing homes and choose one based on quality.

For more information on yesterday’s announcement, please visit here:

NSLIJ Adds Phelps Hospital

NSLIJ Adds Phelps Hospital

NSLIJ Adds Phelps Hospital North Shore LIJ acquires Phelps Hospital

Phelps Memorial Hospital and North Shore LIJ Health System have signed an acquisition agreement.  The two organizations expect the signed agreement to receive all necessary regulatory approvals later this year.

Phelps was one of two hospitals who signed a Letter of Intent this Summer.  Northern Westchester Hospital based in Mt. Kisko was the second one.  Both potential hospitals would give the fast growing NSLIJ insurance company CareConnect a string foothold in Westchester.  Additionally, CareConnect has an affiliate agreement with Montefiore Hospital who’s Bronx base has expanded into Westchester with acquisition of New Rochelle Hospitals – Montefiore Buying Sound Shore Hospital as well as a partnership with White Plains Hospital –Montefiore Health System and White Plains Hospital Sign Formal Agreement.

It will invest in infrastructure improvements and clinical program expansion at Phelps. The 238-bed Sleepy Hollow facility will become the system’s 18th hospital. With Phelps’ 1,700 employees, NS-LIJ has about 50,000 workers, which it said ranks it as the largest private employer in New York state. North Shore-LIJ expects to secure regulatory approvals for the acquisition later this Fall.

A combined Hospital Insurance system is an intriguing concept thats not all that new.  Pittsburgh’s UPMC has been delivering the same model in Western PA successfully. In NYS  an integrated medical approach is new on the other hand and challenging in an open  competitive loop.  A high quality smaller network that is priced affordably and can offer Patient Concierge like service may be what the market is asking for. They may also be in a better position to manage patient health and Preventative Medicine.   For Jan 2015, NSLIJ CareConnect will have a 20% reduction in most regions such as Westchester and NYC.   For new rates, benefits and provider listings click – CareConnect NSLIJ

For more information, please 



Interfaith Hospital Planning Shutdown

Interfaith Hospital Planning Shutdown

Bedford Stuyvescent Hospital Closing

Interfaith Hospital Planning Shutdown. The Bedford Stuyvescent Hospital entered bankruptcy court this week to approve its closing and send layoff warning notices to its 1,544 employees. Pending court and state approval, on Aug. 12 the hospital will end inpatient admissions and divert ambulances to other hospitals. Elective surgeries will end Aug. 19, the emergency department will shut Sept. 11, and all patients will be transferred from the hospital by Sept. 12. Outpatient programs will end Oct. 12 and detoxification and rehabilitation programs Nov. 11.

The bankruptcy court hearing for Interfaith is August 15. The hospital services 175,000 people  with closest hospital in this predominantly minority community is about two and a half miles away.

The threatened closing of another Brooklyn hospital, Long Island College Hospital in Cobble Hill, has become an issue in the mayoral campaign. The  506-bed  hospital — which it said to be losing $4 million was taken over by Downstate   in 2011, inheriting a $170 million debt. The Hospital’s location is very sought after and will likely be purchased by developers.  Developers are coveting LICH’s $1 billion in prime brownstone Brooklyn waterfront buildings.

See our original blog story Interfaith Hospital Files Bankruptcy, Dec 7, 2012.

Stellaris Hospitals Break Up

Stellaris Hospitals Break Up


4 Hospitals seek to cut Stellaris ties

Stellaris Hospitals Break Up.

Breaking Westchester Health Care News: As reported in The Journal News earlier. A Stellaris Hospitals Break Up is planned; Phelps, Lawrence, Northern Westchester and White Plains may form new alliances.  Stellaris had been in the news in recent years with down to the wite negotiations with Empire Blue Cross Empire & Stellaris Reach Pact effective 8/1/10.

A Stellaris Hospitals Break Up is not surprising.  This is viewed as possible strategic move for acquisition form larger local hospitals or even national chains such as Cardinal Health or HCA. Insurers have also purchaszed recenlty medical groups,see UnitedHealthcare Buying Medical Groups?  Will it our market allow an Insurer to purchase a Hospital?


4 hospitals seek to cut Stellaris ties

By Jane Lerner

Four hospitals in Westchester County want to cut ties with their parent organization — a move that could signal their interest in forming new consolidations and alliances with other health-care facilities.

Phelps Memorial Hospital Center in Sleepy Hollow, Lawrence Hospital Center in Bronxville, Northern Westchester Hospital in Mount Kisco and White Plains Hospital are seeking to leave the Stellaris Health Network.

“Stellaris and its member hospitals made this decision after a lengthy strategic review that evaluated a variety of alternatives to respond to a dynamic and ever more challenging health-care environment,” Stellaris said in a statement.

The state Department of Health has to approve any change in ownership of a hospital. Requests from the four hospitals to “dis-establish” Stellaris as “active parent and co-operator” were filed with the state last week.

Leaving Stellaris will enable each hospital to seek new partners.

“By becoming independent, each hospital can move forward in the direction that each feels is best for its community,” said Arthur Nizza, who is on his way out as president and chief executive officer of Stellaris.

All four hospitals declined to comment.

As the parent organization of the four hospitals, Armonk-based Stellaris handled their negotiations with commercial insurance companies, purchasing and information technologies.

Stellaris will continue to provide IT support and some other services to the hospitals. But once they leave the network, they will be able to seek new partners to increase their bargaining power and share services and expenses.

Numerous hospital consolidations and mergers are taking place nationwide.

“I think in time — not immediately — the idea of a freestanding community hospital is going to be passe,” said Kevin Dahill, president of the Northern Metropolitan Hospital Association, an industry group.

Sound Shore Medical Center in New Rochelle and its Mount Vernon Hospital are seeking to merge with Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx once the Westchester County institutions emerge from Bankruptcy Court. In New York City, Mount Sinai Medical Center and Continuum Health Partners, a network that includes Beth Israel and two St. Luke’s-Roosevelt campuses, agreed last week to merge.

“Hospitals are doing what they have to do to position their organizations,” Dahill said.

Stellaris was formed in 1996 as an alliance between White Plains and Northern Westchester hospitals. In 1997, Phelps and Lawrence joined and, in 2000, the company formed an emergency medical service to provide paramedic service to part of Westchester.

Nizza will become CEO of St. Francis Hospital and Health Centers in Poughkeepsie next month. Sharon Lucian, who has been with Stellaris since 1999 and is vice president and chief financial officer, will replace him.


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Montefiore Buying Sound Shore Hospital

Montefiore Buying Sound Shore Hospital


Montefiore Buying Sound Shore Hospital

Sound Shore Hospital – New Rochelle, NY

Montefiore  Buying Sound Shore Hospital.  According to the PR release Sound Shore Health System (“SSHS”) announced today it has entered into an Asset Purchase Agreement with Montefiore Health System for Montefiore to acquire its assets. The transaction, which is expected to close by the end of this year, subject to Bankruptcy Court and regulatory approval, will enable Montefiore to continue, and enhance, the provision of care at Sound Shore and Mount Vernon Hospitals as well as at the Schaffer Extended Care Center.

Earlier in May, negotiations between Westchester Medical Center and the Sound Shore Health System broke off after Westchester Medical ended the merger talks.

Sound Shore system was facing a $3 million to $5 million year-end loss when talks with Westchester Medical began late 2012.

Westchester Medical Ceneter has been in the news in recent years embattled with insurance carrier stand-offs.   The first was with Empire Blue Cross in Nov 2010 which had been resolved but not with  Oxford Health Plans which had terminated its contract  in May 2012.

While the move was necessary and Sound Shore Hospital is certainly better off now than some hospitals such as Interfaith Hospital which declared bankruptcy recently.

Still, there are concerns of Hospital and Provider consolidations changing the market place. The Hospital will possibly be transitioned into an ambulatory/multi-specialty center/urgent care center.

Urgent Care have been the good news in bending of the health care cost curve.  Approximately 45% of acuities in a hospital ER  can be done at an Urgent Care Center.  Urgent Care Centers  will be filling in the gap between regular family doctors and sitting in an ER.  Cost of Urgent Care are up to half of ER.  The patient also avoids high ER copays that average $200 aside form possible high in-network deductible. Yet if the Hospital indeed transitions to ambulatory surgery/multi speciality  Westchester Hospital available area-hospital beds may further be reduced.

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Interfaith Hospital Planning Shutdown

Interfaith Hospital Files Bankruptcy

Interfaith Hospital Files Bankruptcy

To no one’s surprise the Interfaith Hospital in Brooklyn Files for Bankruptcy Protection –  Dec3, 2012 NYT  .  In addition to the $130 Million in debt “…hospital estimates its cash spending will exceed its Interfaith Hospital Files Bankruptcycash receipts by nearly $2 million, and it will have $7 million in unpaid obligations and $26 million in unpaid receivables, other than professional fees.”

The long time beleaguered hospital has been a stepchild of the State with multiple  bail outs in the past decades. “Interfaith officials have said that they need $20 million from the state just to continue operating during the bankruptcy reorganization, and otherwise face the possibility that the hospital will close.”   The State promised some financial support last year to accomplish an integrating  Wyckoff Hospital, Brooklyn Hospital and Interfaith Hospital by a Cuomo Pane Administration.  Interfaith Hospital, located in Bedford Stuyvesant, took extreme steps to save cash by foregoing malpractice insurance – NYT “Troubled NY Hospital Forgo Coverage for Malpractice”.

Since health care is viewed as a right, the government has been subsidizing and encouraging its growth for decades, helping it to evolve into the juggernaut of 17% of the GNP that it is. Now, as Margaret Thatcher so famously said of all socialist experiments, “they have run out of other peoples’ money”. The law and the courts compel them to give everyone 21st century technology which costs more than many patients make in their whole life ! Now the medical industry is up against the limits of what they can pry out of the taxpayer and the private citizens but they are still compelled to offer insanely expensive health care to everyone. Very bright people try to wiggle around this dynamic but they are finding that they cant. We need to strike at the source, and accept : Health care is not a right, you don’t get it because you exist, you have to buy it. Only by accepting this truth can we begin to save a reasonable health care industry.

Unlike St Vincent’s Hospital Bankruptcy Closure in 2010 was a complete shock to NYC Health Community.  For more than 150 years the hospital was a mainstay of  Downtown Manhattan.  It remains to be seen if  this Administration will step in and save Interfaith Hospital again.

UPDATE August 1, 2013: Interfaith Hospital Planning Shutdown effective August 15, 2013

NYU Beth Israel Hospital Merger and ACO

NYU Beth Israel Hospital Merger and ACO

ACO - Accountable Care Organization

Accountable Care Organization

NYU Beth Israel Hospital Merger and ACO

Accountable Care Organization

As reported in NYT  last week – New York Hospitals Look to Combine, Forming a Giant “The proposed merger would bring together NYU Langone Medical Center, a highly specialized academic medical center, and Continuum Health Partners, a network of several community-oriented hospitals, including Beth Israel and the two St. Luke’s-Roosevelt campuses.”

Anticipating changes in the way health care is paid for and delivered abound.  WIth new Health Care Reform law the traditional fee-for-service model is being sacked in favor of  patient care coordination.  The consolidations by  hospitals  are needed in order to deliver  the scales  build on the ACO model of using independent providers/facilities.

Accountable Care Organization (ACO) – These organizations coordinate patient care and provide the full range of health care services for patients. The health reform law provides incentives for providers who join together to form such organizations and who agree to be accountable for the quality, cost, and overall care of Medicare beneficiaries who are enrolled in the traditional fee-for-service program who are assigned to the ACO.

The fee-for-service system has evidentially driven costs by incentivizing volumes of added procedures.  The ACO model is built on par excellence hospitals such as Mayo Clinic where there is team of providers are financially incentivized  for  patient care coordination outcomes and high quality of care.   The ACO’s payment would be tied to achieving goals that improve health care and save money. Members of the ACO would divvy up that payment.   Today’s payment system, investments in providing better care are doubly penalized. If a hospital hires a nurse to follow up with patients after they are discharged in order to reduce readmissions — for example, to help patients with diabetes improve blood sugar control — it must pay for the nurse, which is typically not reimbursed by insurance companies or Medicare, and it loses revenue by preventing the readmission.

Congress included ACOs in the health care law as a way to rein in Medicare spending. That federal program pays for health care for people 65 and older and the disabled. The federal government estimates ACOs could save the Medicare program up to $940 million over four years. Medicare recently began testing this system with 32 pilot ACOs in 18 states, including one in the New York City area – Bronx Accountable Healthcare Network.

Some have pointed to ACO Model just as a pro-merger supporting argument with the FTC.  These significant mergers create market dominance and therefore limit competition and drive up health care dollars.  And yet Hospitals operate on thin profit margins and cannot afford to lose market share therein lies is the conundrum.

Addendum news:  July 18, 2012 – Aetna and Hunterdon HealthCare Partners Forge New Accountable Care Relationship


Hospital Contract Non-Negotiations

Hospital Contract Non-Negotiations

Just a heads up on a topic that will be all too familiar going forward.  We see this as a trend and not the exception.  As hospital systems have consolidated in reaction to negative market condition and  increasing costs of doing business.  But size is better when it comes to negotiating with insurers.  We are seeing profitable  hospitals asking for 15% rate increase form prior years.  They can do this because insurer network marketability is on the quality and size of network.

Current News:

Aetna: Effective 4/5/2010,  Beth Israel Medical Center – Petrie Division, Beth Israel Medical Center – Kings Highway Division; Long Island College Hospital; New York Eye & Ear Infirmary; and St. Luke’s Roosevelt Hospital Center – Roosevelt Division, and St. Luke’s Roosevelt Hospital Center – St. Luke’s Division (the “Continuum Hospitals”) were terminated from the Metro NY Aetna network. The hospitals will remain participating and will be accepting In Network Rates until the end of the cooling off period on 6/5/2010.

Continuum had almost lost United/Oxford Health Net in march and Empire or Wellpoint last Spring.

Empire Effective 4/1/10 has lost Stellaris Health Network in Westchester.  Those hospitals include Phelps Memorial, Lawrence Hosp, White Plains Hosp, and Northern Westchester Hosp.  They were asking for double digit increases for each year of a mutli-year contract, which would have had to be passed on to our members in the form of higher premiums.  Our Empire clients will be covered in those facilities for emergencies, as well as services that have already been pre-authorized and approved.

A released Empire Fact Sheet of the contract termination is available

While this happened somewhat in prior years things usually were worked out at 11th hour after a cooling of period.  Whats troubling now is that there is little common ground to stand on.  We believe in the short term they will get reworked as both Mammoth Corp need each other but this will be a serious concern worth watching.