SUNY Downstate President to Recommend Closure of Long Island College Hospital
Long Island College Hospital — part of State University of New York Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn — appears to be nearing its death bed, as SUNY Downstate President John Williams, MD, reportedly will recommend today the state close LICH, according to a New York Daily News report.
The SUNY board first floated the idea of closing LICH in January. LICH became part of SUNY Downstate in May 2011, and since then, the medical center has teetered on the brink of insolvency.
An audit from New York Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli found SUNY Downstate has lost more than $300 million from 2007 through 2011, and losses could reach $200 million for 2012. In 2011 alone, the hospital lost more than $275 million, mostly due low occupancy rates and the pressure from taking on $170 million of LICH's liabilities. The audit concluded SUNY Downstate would not have enough cash to cover its expenses by this May.
Dr. Williams — who earns $650,000 in total annual compensation and has a housing and company car stipend — will recommend all inpatient services cease, although the Daily News reported some walk-in clinics may be preserved. The New York Post reported many LICH physicians and staffers have already been told the hospital will close.
If the board ultimately approves the closure of LICH, the plan would then go to the New York State Health Department for approval, which would take a few weeks to finalize.
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