Wednesday, January 14, 2009

2 more Queens hospitals may close

From the NY Times:

Two Queens hospitals are facing bankruptcy and may close by February, the Queens borough president said Tuesday, in one of the first indications that New York State’s budget shortfall is hurting the hospital industry.

The two private hospitals, St. John’s Queens and Mary Immaculate, had sometimes been given millions of dollars in state subsidies just to meet their payrolls, according to other hospital officials who have been briefed on the matter. But with the state facing a $15 billion budget gap, the state was less likely to help hospitals that had limited long-term viability.

Helen M. Marshall, the Queens borough president, said in her State of the Borough speech Tuesday that she was “extremely concerned today about the stability” of the two hospitals. Her spokesman, Dan Andrews, said later that Ms. Marshall had learned from officials at Caritas, which runs the two hospitals, that St. John’s and Mary Immaculate could file for bankruptcy this month and could close by next month. He said she has appealed to the governor’s office for help, and chose to mention the hospitals in her speech just hours before delivering it.


2 Hospitals in Queens May Face Bankruptcy

Both of these are in or near areas that were recently upzoned. More people, fewer hospital beds. Awesome. Let's put luxury condos in their place.

Top photo from Daily News

39 comments:

Anonymous said...

Maybe this has something to do with the fact that NYC hospitals are forced to give away more free care than they charge for.

Anonymous said...

If St Johns closes than the choices are stark and dark - go to Elmhurst Hospital and die of poor medical attention or go to the Flushing Hospital and die getting there on time to save your life.

Missing Foundation said...

Both of these are in or near areas that were recently upzoned. More people, fewer hospital beds.

------

Hey, just like LIC/Astoria. Three hospitals 40 years ago, one dump today.

Double digit growth for decades means twice the population.

Hell just one project, Suna's Silvercup waterfront grab with 1000 units. Now multiply with all the others.

Here is a scary thought. Maybe you folks just might have to tangle with the morons running that part of the boro.

It seems to be the experimental labortory for everyone else.

Anonymous said...

These hospitals serve the more "colorful" segments of our population and the Bloomberg administration clearly doesn't give a damn about those kind of folks anyway.

All part of the racist agenda
involved in cleaning up NYC to a cleaner more well-behaved Disney
mode!

Anonymous said...

Mary Immaculate is a DUMP! Good riddance to that heap!

Anonymous said...

Stop using the emergency room for doctor's visits....charge the illegal immigrants that use our hospitals....no more free visits. Make them show their fake ID.

This will help!

Anonymous said...

So everytime a clubhouse hack extolls the vitures of our diverse! vibrant! rainbow why doesn't someone ask them the cost of being a sanctuary city and who will pay for it.

Just a few public occasions needed to take the wind out of their sails.

And if the media doesn't report it, then hammer them.

Anonymous said...

Look at the bright side, if St John's closes, it is a great location for new condos!! Close to the vibrant and diverse Queens Center Mall, a short bus ride to Atlas, and feet away from the Woodhaven Blvd subway. Minutes to Manhattan, luxury unparralled! You have arrived!!!!

Anonymous said...

St. Johns is a terrible hospital though.

Sarah said...

If we face another 911 type emergency or worse, we will see the consequences of these and future hospital closings. Regardless of whom they service now, we will all be affected. Roads will be closed so forget about getting to Northshore or LIJ. With Parkway Hospital closed and St. John and Mary Immac closing where will you take some one you love if all the hospitals are overwhelmed. At that point, if you are holding a sick or hurt child in your arms, what color person a hospital treats will be the last thing on your mind!

Anonymous said...

If so many people did not use the ER as their own Doctor's office the city could save plenty of money. Limit the number of times or the number of names people use to collect all the benefits. The poor working slob always seems to suffer.

Anonymous said...

It's a damned good thing that heroic pilot didn't have to ditch his Airbus yesterday in Jamaica Bay and we had to rely upon some of those passengers being sent to these two closed hospitals.

Over development, a proposed
one million increase in our population, closed hospitals, closed firehouses, understaffed police precincts, overcrowded schools, antiquated infrastructure,
yadda, yadda, yadda!

Can you see what we're getting at?

God save us all
from the arrogance of Emperor Michael Rubin Bonaparte!

Anonymous said...

If we had health care like every other developed nation, then people wouldn't have to use ERs as doctor's offices.

Anonymous said...

One by one, our hospitals and parochial schools are being replaced by condos.

Anonymous said...

With rising health care cost driven in part by inefficiences in the healthcare delivery system and duplication of services, there is a real need to consider downsizing inpatient services. In today's healthcare market, it makes no sense that Mary Immaculate Hospital sits 5 minutes from Jamaica Hospital providing the same services. We need to focus on developing comprehensive preventative outpatient services.

Anonymous said...

Probably written by someone from LIJ who wants to take over the properties and make them into primary/ambulatory care facilities.

In case you haven't heard, both hospitals are frequently on diversion, and there aren't too many level 1 trauma centers in the city, as MIH is.

Anonymous said...

Jamaica Hospital also runs a Level I Trauma Service as well.....which supports my argument of duplication of services. By the way MIH has eliminated so many services and staff that it cannot really provide comprehensive care that the community deserves. One cannot expect the State to provide continued and unconditional funding to a failing hospital system. The bigger issue is how we can create a medical system in southeastern Queens that can prevent disease complications and eliminate health and healthcare disparities among the population of southeastern Queens.

Anonymous said...

With shootings being so common in the area and the most popular ICU dx being "GSW", you need multiple trauma centers in the greater Jamaica area.

Anonymous said...

Well, just how common are GSW in Jamaica? In fact the leading causes of death in the area would include cancer, heart disease, stroke, and complications of diabetes and hypertension. Not to down play the rising toll of homicide particularly among our Latino and African-American youths, but our health care dollars should be spent on developing primary care sites.

Primary care sites could address issues of education and prevention. Maintaining a Trauma Service is expensive and quite frankly the Berger Commision should have mandated that the trauma services at Jamaica Hospital and MIH merge into one program managed by either of the hospitals. This move alone could have probably saved MIH tons of money and improve its chances of competing in the market place.

Anonymous said...

MIH, like Jamaica, serves the entire southeastern Queens area, and unfortunately GSW are pretty common. The leading cause of death may be the things you mention, but the people with GSWs I have encountered were alive and needed medical care. There are primary care clinics all over Queens and people seem to be getting sicker, not better. Most people don't care about their health and all the clinics in the world won't change that.

Anonymous said...

You are absolutely right to suggest that the population the Jamaica has an excess burden of diseases and an increase morbidity and death related to these diseases. You are wrong to suggest that most people don't care about their health.....the fact is that there are barriers to good care which includes diminished access to care (clinics, etc.) and the lack of health insurance. This is why a large segment of the population utilizes the ER for primary care.

So when there are so few health care dollars to go around, it is important that we not waste it on supporting inefficient inpatient services. Unless you have been sleep for the last several months, then you must know that our new President has recommended expanding outpatient services to focus on prevention and improving health care outcomes. If we could just eliminate the waste and duplication of services of our present health care system, it would probably allow us to provide care to all individuals.

Anonymous said...

I work with an indigent population - 100% on Medicaid and public assistance. They get free health care. They don't come for their scheduled appts and don't want to come to the free classes we offer. There are no barriers at all and they still won't comply.

There is also an emerging belief that preventive care and excessive screening can actually be more wasteful in the long run: Does Preventive Care Save Money? Health Economics and the Presidential Candidates

Anonymous said...

....you have a narrow view of health care economics. Medicaid expenditures are certainly excessive and typically driven by the provision of wasteful and costly services......including duplicate inpatient services. Over the years medicaid has failed because of the lack of attention given to early screening and prevention. The belief that prevention strategies are costly and ineffective is absurd and is derived from data based in communities that are relatively healthy and have adequate access to health care. In communites such as Jamaica and southeastern Queens where there is an excess of deaths related to preventable diseases, then early screening is a must!

Anonymous said...

Early screening is a must? Why? So they can know they have diabetes and know they shouldn't drink coke all day and eat the worst foods imaginable but do it anyway? And so then they can go to the doctor every month and say they don't know why their sugar is so high or just skip the appts all together? The thing about early prevention programs are that they only work in those communities that care about their health. Doing it with a population that drinks, smokes, does drugs, chooses single motherhood and eats grease all day as part of their culture is a waste of time and money. They need to change their culture first and you aren't doing that with an outpatient program, sorry. It's an uphill battle all the way and I can speak from experience.

Anonymous said...

To whoever is advocating for preventative care as a panacea ....you have a narrow view of health care reality. Early detection may work for something like cancer, but everything else like heart disease, diabetes, etc. is a lifestyle choice that patients very rarely give up, especially the ones in the Jamaica area.

Anonymous said...

From another post on this blog:

"The Health Department said that of the 90,870 abortions in the city, Queens had 17,478, Brooklyn 29,008, the Bronx 20,208, Manhattan 12,730 and Staten Island 2,898.

Nearly 44 percent of city births were to unmarried women, including 70 percent in the Bronx, 44.4 percent in Queens, 42.8 in Brooklyn, 35.1 percent in Manhattan and 33.3 percent in Staten Island."

I guess the TV ads, print ads, school classes and constant drumbeat about using condoms hasn't gotten through to a lot of folks yet. I'm guessing many of the women referred to above live in the Jamaica area.

Anonymous said...

It is that exact healthcare and physician inertia regarding the benefits of screening and early intervention that drives the poor health outcomes that we see in communities like Jamaica. For example we know the benefits of treating hypertension and despite this we fail to diagnose and treat patients early with aggressive intervention. The American Diabetes Association has recognized the benefits of educating populations at risk for diabetes and have developed many community based programs to improve disease awareness......and guess what, it works!

I despise your characterization of Jamaica as drug crazed and socially dysfunctional community that deserves no comprehensive approach to improve the health outcomes of their community.

I just hope that you are not a physician in this community charged with improving the lives of the patients that you serve....

Anonymous said...

"For example we know the benefits of treating hypertension and despite this we fail to diagnose and treat patients early with aggressive intervention."

False. You can't walk into a doctor's office without getting your BP taken. There are BP machines in supermarkets and pharmacies and health wagons that regularly stop in underserved communities. I don't know how much more outreach can possibly be done. And when a pt has been dx with HTN, we Rx drugs more often than in any other country. Why? Because when we advise a change in diet the patients would rather have the pills and their McDonald's.

"The American Diabetes Association has recognized the benefits of educating populations at risk for diabetes and have developed many community based programs to improve disease awareness......and guess what, it works!"

According to the NYC Dept of Health, DM is one of the fastest growing health concerns, mainly due to obesity. Once again, pts love McDonald's more than their health. Education works when you have a community that cares more about their health than their bling and their fast food.

"I despise your characterization of Jamaica as drug crazed and socially dysfunctional community that deserves no comprehensive approach to improve the health outcomes of their community."

I didn't say they don't deserve it. I said they reject it. They've been doing so for decades.

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure who you refer to when you say "they" reject care. The community of Jamaica in fact are open to screening and community-based programs that may improve their lives. I have worked on many screening programs, and people are hungry for information and basic eduacation. I would suggest that you spend some time working or organizing a health fair and witness just how effective these community tools can be...

Also, I would suggest that you spend some time reviewing the NHANES, AHA, ADA data on the prevalence of undiagnosed diabetes and hypertension... and how this translates into increase morbidity, death, and escalating health care costs.

Anonymous said...

What I mean by "they" are the repeat admits who eat up the vast majority of the health care dollars and run hospitals into the ground. They are always referred for outpatient education and follow up and they never go. Or they go once and never return. They don't care about their health, talk to them and find out that they have this mindset that if God wants to take them then they can't do anything about it. Early detection, education and intervention does not help these folks because they don't want the help and don't care. Some of them have had half their family die of uncontrolled diabetes, have a HbA1C of 12, and show up for their appts with Dunkin Donuts boxes and stare at you blankly when you explain why this is a bad thing. Then the following week they are in the hospital and the cycle continues. I had an older diabetic Muslim woman with heart problems who was in the hospital once a month because she insisted on fasting and would pass out. Our tax dollars at work. What program would you suggest for her? Sorry, but this is the reality of the inner city. It's time that this type of behavior had consequences that doesn't involve free medical attention when the person chooses not to participate in their own health care. Why run an expensive battery of tests on someone if they aren't going to do anything with the information learned from them? Or do you think everyone can be forced to "see the light"? The barriers are cultural.

Anonymous said...

You describe a small segment of the population in the area. All communities have challenges in changing behavior which may be influenced by unique cultural beliefs. There are significant numbers of people in the area who are commited to improving their health, but do not have the resources to do so....

Anonymous said...

But they have the resources for junk food and cigarettes? An apple and a bag of potato chips cost about the same...

Anonymous said...

Helen Marshall is 'extremely concerned' about hospital closings as she prefers to funnel our taxes to more luxury condos that generate 'real jobs'

Make up your mind honey!

Anonymous said...

Everyone continues to discuss using the hospital property to build condos.....but the reality is that we are in a recession and funding for large developments are nonexistent. The most likely scenario is that the hospital will sit vacant for several months to years until the economy turns around.

Anonymous said...

Parkway Hospital was private and never took a dime from the State. They accepted Medicare, Medicaid, Commerical insurance and Self-Pay, yet the State Department of Health closed them based on a report stating there were too many hospital beds in Queens. Do you think the Department of Health actually knows what it is doing?

Anonymous said...

I agree, I think that the Department of Health should have some accountability for the failure of MIH and St. Johns. They approved the acquisition of the two hospitals by a hospital system that was not financially or administratively stable to operate the two hospitals.

In addition every employee, the Board of Directors, and local politicians should also have some accountability in the failure of both hospitals. We all sat around and allowed the hospital to make bad decisions for years. They hired CEOs and Turn-Around Specialists and paid them lucrative salaries.....with absolutely no transparency involving their plans to stimulate financial stability for the hospitals. They continued to cut jobs and services, while they collected healthy fees and then left with big severance packages.

Helen Marshall should spend her time demanding an investigation of the financial wrong-doings over several years that have destroyed a once prosperous hospital........

and shame on the Board of Directors who were charged with facilitating the mission of the hospital.

Anonymous said...

I am sorry that these two hospitals are in such trouble of closing. Unfortunately if they had somewhat better management and structure they might not have been in this situation. All it seems is management get big raises and little people suffers and what happens when there is no money it ask for help but with the economy in its present situation can it be help and when it does will they do the right thing by restructuring the hospitals and not give useless raises to those who do not deserve!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Come on now. Other hospitals without the benefit of endowments are managing to survive. Helen Marshall knows well over 26 million dollars leaves the borough every year in high risk transfers (cardiac, trauma and burns) to Manhattan and Long Island (LIJ). Add another 9 million in acute and psych pediatric care. You would think she would fight hard to keep these patients in the borough and secure high paying jobs.Staten Island manages to keep everything on it's Island (By the way isn't she a register nurse)

As for St.John's and MIH,they were told 5 years ago to upgrade the facilities, improve community relations and as a major employer of Queens residents discuss issues of concern with elected officials- they chose not to. Like a dysfunctional family, management of these 2 hospitals chose to keep telling the elected officals and its employees " It's going to be all right".

Meanwhile, management was aware of the finances, they knew of the possibility of a closure and that there may not be severance packages for them. C M talked his way into a 100K raise just in case. But he didn't stop there his confident K F pulled in 35K as well.St. John's management hitched their wagon on and received a similar raise.
But lets be fair, no one else who interviewed wanted his job. Who would want a closure on his resume.

It's my hope that monies from the State and or Federal govenments come through with funding to keep these Hospitals open, allow it employees to continue to serve the community for which most live in and to permit them under new management to regain the reputation that they once had.

Anonymous said...

You can thank all the HMO's and greedy american people for this. Everyone hear thinks their insurance is world class. What did you think would happen to a hospital when a doctor gets 10 bucks an exam. Hell even strippers get 20 bucks for a lap dance.
Now everything has come home to roost. Housing has crashed, these silly service jobs are disappearing. Now people will start to realize what is important . Education and businesses that actually support people. Unlike banking and real estate which were predicated on ripping off the American people.