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Friday, July 19, 2013

As goes LICH so goes the future of healthcare for all New Yorkers...

This is not about Brooklyn Hts and Cobble Hill, it's about all of us.  It's time for all good women and men to get off the fence and speak up; silence=agreement with the status quo. By the way, what happened to "Do No Harm."

  From: "Craig R. Hammerman" []
  Sent: 07/18/2013 07:02 PM AST
  Subject: LICH Update


Things are flying around fast and furious and, unfortunately, we have no real way of knowing what's true and what's not true since no one at LICH, SUNY or most importantly at the Governor's Office will even talk to us about this.

What we do know is that since June 20th the hospital has been on "ambulance diversion."  We have a photocopy of the sign that was posted at the hospital on that date.  What we've heard is that the spillover into nearby emergency rooms is having an impact.  I've checked with our other area hospital, New York Methodist Hospital, and they say that since the ambulance diversion has been in place they have seen an uptick, roughly a 10% increase, in ER walk-ins and ambulance service (many of which are Downstate LICH ambulances identifiable by their logo).

What we do know is that the closure plan that was originally submitted by the SUNY Board of Trustees (which is controlled by Governor Cuomo) had to be reviewed and approved by the New York State Department of Health (which is controlled by Governor Cuomo).  This plan was withdrawn by the SUNY Board after losing the court battle which held that the hospital was to remain open.  Crain'sreported this afternoon that the SUNY Board has now resubmitted a closure plan for LICH.  The Crain's piece went on to confirm that there are only 18 patients left in the hospital which is now losing $15 million a month because there are no patients to support their overhead.

What we do know is that our area's elected officials have been actively fighting on this issue--sending out statements and tweets, showing up at the hospital regularly to rally, allowing themselves to be arrested for acts of civil disobedience, etc.  What we do not know is WHAT OUR GOVERNOR HAS TO SAY ABOUT ANY OF THIS, since he would apparently hold all the cards here as the person in charge of both the SUNY Board of Trustees and the NYS Department of Health.  His silence has been deafening.

What we do know is that things cannot continue this way much longer.  Effectively shutting down operations in apparent contempt of court orders and running on an accelerating deficit is no way to keep a hospital open.  Having no merger, sale or acquisition plans in place means no way of guaranteeing that the hospital as such would remain a health care facility.  What we do not know is how much longer this can last.

Contacting your local elected officials is akin to preaching to the choir.  Even virtually every candidate for Mayor has made some sympathetic statement or done something to show their support for keeping our hospital open.  If LICH is to remain open, it will be because our Governor wills it to be; if it closes, it will be because he was unresponsive and it will happen on his watch.  This is all on Governor Cuomo.  He can be the hero or the villain.  At a minimum he should come clean and be honest with us about where he stands.

Encourage Governor Cuomo to break his silence today!

To email the Governor:

To tweet him send your Twitter message to @NYGovCuomo

To phone him call (518) 474-8390.

Don't wait to write him a letter, it may not get to Albany in time.

Best,  Craig

Craig R. Hammerman, District ManagerBrooklyn Community Board 6250 Baltic Street, Brooklyn, NY 11201-6401

t. 718.643.3027 * f. 718.624.8410


From: "Moro Salifu"-

I am writing to alert you that the closure of LICH is now imminent and for you to discuss patient notification and options for patients to transfer to UHB faculty practice or clinics with your section chiefs at LICH. You may be questioned on some facts so below are some of the things I know for now.
1.   When the date is set some-time next week or so, physicians will be given a 30 day notice of termination. During that period they will continue to receive salary. After that they will no longer be UHB salaried but will continue to maintain their UHB medical board and admitting privileges. Let me know who in your division at LICH wants to provide services at UHB or Bay Ridge and bill for professional services so we can get them credentialed through the practice plan as soon as we can.
2.   No outpatient procedures on Monday. The last day for outpatient procedures is today. Please inform your divisions accordingly. Patients scheduled for procedures on Monday should be cancelled and informed and given alternatives. The alternative is to have the procedure done at UHB/Bay Ridge or patient preference in the area. Administration is drafting a letter to patients but I don’t have it yet.
3.   The last patient for endoscopy is today and that no patients should be scheduled for Monday. Patients should be scheduled at Bay Ridge or UHB or alternate hospital of choice
4.   The last patient for chemotherapy should be today and no patients should receive chemo on Monday. They should be treated at UHB either as outpatients or inpatients. Some may have to be admitted if scheduling is an issue.
5.   Dialysis might stay for a little longer until the patients are placed.

This is a developing story and I will feed you as I get more information. Please send me any questions.


Moro O. Salifu, MD, MPH, MBA, FACP
Professor & Chairman, Department of Medicine
Edwin C and Anne K Weiskopf Endowed Chair in Nephrology,
in honor of Eli A. and Mildred (Barry) Friedman
Chief, Division of Nephrology
Director, Transplant Program
SUNY Downstate Medical Center
450 Clarkson Ave Box 52
Brooklyn, NY, 11203

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