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.
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 cash 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.