Sunday, December 2, 2012

Interfaith To File For Bankruptcy, May Become Tenth Hospital To Close Under Christine Quinn

Related : J31 Rally to Save Interfaith and LICH outside Gov. Cuomo's Office - Stop Hospital Closings

Interfaith Medical Center Plans To Declare Bankruptcy This Week.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo empaneled a consulting group called the Medicaid Redesign Team headed by investment banker Stephen Berger. The last consulting group headed by Mr. Berger came to be known as the Berger Commission. The tasks of both groups was the same : to identify hospitals to close down, so that New York State could implement cuts to the state's healthcare budget.

In the latest development, it was announced today that Interfaith Medical Center in Brooklyn plans to file for bankruptcy. The Medicaid Redesign Team has identified three hospitals in Brooklyn, which serve uninsured and underinsured patients for closing ; one of these was Interfaith.

How the Cuomo administration plans to carry out the closings is to merge the financially unstable hospitals together in some combinations, so that that the hospitals can hemorrhage money faster, so that they can end up collapsing under the weight of their combined debts.

Interfaith officials told The New York Times that turning over operational control to Brooklyn Hospital without the state’s first promising the financing needed to keep Interfaith going would be tantamount to a covert plan to close Interfaith in a year and a half or so.

A similar money-losing arrangement was made between a string of hospitals lead by St. Vincent's, which lead to the financial collapse of each hospital : St. Vincent's, St. Johns Queens Hospital, and Mary Immaculate Hospital.

Because the Medicaid Redesign Team's sole purpose has been to make even deeper cuts to the state's healthcare budget, Gov. Cuomo's austerity plan is responsible for the bankruptcy filing. In letters to state officials, Nathan M. Barotz, the chairman of Interfaith's board of trustees, has said that a 2010 cut in Medicaid reïmbursement rates cost Interfaith 40 percent of its inpatient revenue and precipitated its current crisis.

In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, so many New York City hospitals endured damage. There is a shortage of functioning hospitals right now.

One hospital executive, Michael Dowling, is trying to profit from the disaster that Hurricane Sandy has caused to his competition. Mr. Dowling is head of the parent-holding company of Lenox Hill Hospital. Mr. Dowling opposes opening anymore hospitals, because Lenox Hill Hospital is now making record amounts of money from an influx of patients from the damaged hospitals with which he competes.

NYU Langone Hospital, Bellevue Hospital, and Coney Island Hospital were evaucated after each hospital suffered damage and power failures. None of these hospitals have been able to return to 100% functioning levels. How can it make sense for Gov. Cuomo to keep forcing hospitals to close ?

Related : With Some Hospitals Closed After Hurricane, E.R.’s at Others Overflow

If Interfaith does indeed close, it will become the tenth hospital to close since Christine Quinn became speaker of the New York City Council in 2006.

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