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Old Posted May 26, 2016, 4:45 AM
Arthururban Arthururban is offline
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Smile NEW YORK | Beth Israel Medical Center Redevelopment

New York City’s Beth Israel to Close Hospital, Open Smaller Facility
Downsizing is part of $550 million plan to respond to changes in health care that the property’s owner says has led to a decline in hospitalizations

By Corinne Ramey May 25, 2016

Mount Sinai Beth Israel will close its hospital and replace it with a much smaller facility, significantly reducing the number of hospital beds in lower Manhattan.

Beth Israel, which has struggled financially and says it typically uses less than 60% of its roughly 825 beds, said Wednesday it would sell the property and open a 70-bed hospital and emergency room in 2020. The new hospital will be two blocks from the current facility.

The downsizing is part of a $550 million plan by Beth Israel’s owner to adapt to a changing health-care landscape where patients are using more outpatient care and spending less time in hospitals.

“We are not diminishing, in any way, the services,” said Kenneth Davis, president and chief executive officer of Mount Sinai Health System, which acquired Beth Israel in 2013. “We are not closing the doors.”

Still, the plan continues a broader retrenchment of hospitals in New York City, where a number of facilities have closed in recent years due to financial losses or under a statewide plan to reduce excess capacity.

...In recent weeks, rumors of Beth Israel’s closure have worried local residents and elected officials.

“Any downsizing or closure at Beth Israel threatens to further strain an already overburdened network of health-care providers in Manhattan, reduce health-care options and curtail services in the immediate neighborhood, and eliminate jobs,” wrote seven elected officials earlier this month.

U.S. Rep. Jerrold Nadler, who represents parts of Manhattan and Brooklyn, said Beth Israel was one of the few remaining hospitals downtown.

“I remain concerned that the drastic reduction in hospital beds in New York City—and now twice in Lower Manhattan—in recent years will result in insufficient care downtown,” said Mr. Nadler, a Democrat, in a statement Wednesday.

Mount Sinai’s Dr. Davis said the plans for Beth Israel are different. The network anticipates a $215 million expansion of outpatient facilities and an $85 million expansion of its 150-bed behavioral health center. It will spend $250 million to build the new hospital and upgrade its New York Eye and Ear Infirmary.

....Mount Sinai will sell the 16th Street property where Beth Israel sits, hospital officials said. The property’s current value is about $600 million, Dr. Davis said. Beth Israel has outstanding debt of more than $200 million, hospital officials said.

....Some staff members started looking for new jobs about two years ago, said Cicely Parris, 59, who transports patients. “The hospital’s been empty, and staff are leaving for other hospitals,” said Ms. Parris, who has worked at Beth Israel for 22 years.

Although communities and politicians are typically sentimental about hospital closings, the plan makes sense for Mount Sinai and its patients, said John Rowe, professor of health policy and management at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health.

“They leave behind a large, antiquated, money-losing hospital, but they maintain their meaningful presence in a Manhattan market which was the primary aim of their acquisition of Beth Israel,” said Dr. Rowe, a former Mount Sinai executive who isn’t involved in the current plans. “They weren’t trying to buy the building, they were trying to buy the business.”

Last edited by Arthururban; Jun 3, 2016 at 6:08 AM.
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