Buried in psych ward debt, New York hospital seeks state OK to close unit

The inpatient psychiatric unit at Eastern Niagara Hospital is pushing the Lockport, N.Y.-based facility further into debt, according to a new filing with the state's department of health cited by local business news site Buffalo Business First.

 The hospital, which anticipates a $10 million deficit this year, said the psychiatric unit is projected to lose about $813,000 this year. It is nearly double the loss the unit saw in 2018, which was $409,632.

"There are no ENH funds that are available to continue paying the psychiatrist, staff and program supplies. Current staff are resigning and bumping into other positions, thereby creating significant nurse staffing shortages on the unit," the hospital wrote in the filing. 

Eastern Niagara Hospital is seeking New York Health Department approval to close the 12-bed transition unit, arguing that the closure of the unit is key to the hospital's survival.

The hospital has already filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. 

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