Mount Sinai Beth Israel plans downsizing as losses mount

Mount Sinai Beth Israel plans to cut inpatient capacity, as the 856-bed New York City-based hospital and its affiliates have lost hundreds of millions of dollars over the past few years, according to a Crain's New York Business report.

Beth Israel will announce the downsizing plan within the next two weeks, according to the report, which cites a message sent to union members by the New York State Nurses Association.

The message, which was sent Friday afternoon, said Beth Israel plans to "move units and individuals throughout the system." The New York State Nurses Association said it has entered into discussions with 1199 SEIU Healthcare Workers East to protect members' "job security, mobility and parity of benefits," according to the report.

The message from the nurses association came after The Villager, a weekly newspaper serving lower Manhattan, reported May 13 that Beth Israel would close. The story cited three anonymous nurses, who said they had been promised jobs at other Mount Sinai locations once Beth Israel is shuttered.  

Mount Sinai executives have refuted the nurses' claims. In an email sent to faculty, staff and students, officials said they are aware of the stress and confusion that has been caused by the inaccurate story that ran in The Villager. "We are working on a plan which will enhance existing services and develop new facilities in the Mount Sinai Beth Israel community," read the email. "In the meantime, there will be no disruption in any of our patient care services."

The teaching hospital reported a $90.7 million loss in 2014. In the first nine months of 2015, Beth Israel posted an $85.6 million loss, which exceeded a budgeted loss of $75.6 million, according to the report.

If Beth Israel closes, lower Manhattan residents would have to travel further for care. Since St. Vincent's Hospital closed in 2010, there have only been a handful of hospitals serving Lower Manhattan.

A Mount Sinai spokeswoman declined to confirm or deny whether Beth Israel would close to Crain's New York Business.

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