Monday, September 22, 2008
SAVING LONG ISLAND COLLEGE HOSPITAL
Long Island College Hospital(LICH) is my hospital. It's in the neighborhood, but it's going through some belt tightening, because quite frankly it's losing money. I've never been a big fan of its emergency room, or any emergency room, for that matter, because you always end up waiting forever. But, that aside, they do a pretty good job over at LICH. But, the other day, I received a letter from the hospital detailing a series of cutbacks. The letter appears to be in response to what LICH says are rumors that prompted community outrage and a campaign to "Save Our Hospital."
The biggest move is the elimination of the hospital's OB/GYN department. It seems delivering babies is killing the bottom line. LICH cites over 11-million dollars in losses in the department, much of it due to malpractice lawsuits and the insurance needed to cover it. That amounted to one third of the hospitals total losses. The insurance alone in OB/GYN $8.8 million.
Long Island College Hospital is also downsizing, selling off several of it's buildings on Henry and Amity streets in Cobble Hill. They're licensed to operate 500beds, but only 350 are currently occupied. In this category, LICH was somewhat vague, suggesting the number of beds would be cut back as well, but revealing no details. The hospital also insists, despite rumors, it's not shutting down its emergency room.
I'm not quite sure what brought all of this on. They don't really speculate. But, it wouldn't surprise me, if the overall economy had an impact. As more and more people lose their jobs, fewer people have health insurance. That means, the hospital ends up picking up the tab and because a rising number of people are broke, they're not paying the bills.