Group claims Mount Sinai cut services again to accelerate Beth Israel closure

The Community Coalition to Save Beth Israel Hospital group that filed a lawsuit in February to prevent New York City-based Mount Sinai from closing its Mount Sinai Beth Israel hospital has written a letter asking the court to deny the hospital's closure of its stroke and cardiac services.

In the March 7 letter to New York State Supreme Court Judge Nicholas Moyne, obtained by Becker's, the group insists that the court deny the service closure and hold an evidentiary hearing. It also suggested that this action be combined with a motion for contempt. 

"The deliberate destaffing of these critical departments (which would end Beth Israel as a destination for all stroke and heart attack patients) is premised on the notion that Mount Sinai's November 2023 amendment to its closure plan is in full compliance with the law, an issue which we have submitted voluminous argument about, and which Mount Sinai has not responded to," the letter said. 

The hospital is not renewing its fire department ST-elevation myocardial infarction center designation and its Joint Commission stroke certification when they expire on March 10 due to voluntary staff departures that have occurred since the planned closure of the hospital was shared in September. 

The hospital's planned closure date of July 12 was blocked by a New York judge in mid-February until arguments for closure can be presented in court. 

"MSBI has consulted with the department of health regarding the upcoming loss of these designations," said a March 5 letter, obtained by Becker's, to Mr. Moyne on behalf of Mount Sinai regarding the closures. "DOH has acknowledged that MSBI will lose these designations and has stated that the loss of the designations does not constitute a closure of beds or services ahead of any final determination by DOH regarding the full closure plan submitted by Mount Sinai Beth Israel."

The community group has challenged the hospital's November amendment for closure with claims that it violates public health law and "many other laws." 

"If DOH abdicates its responsibilities (which it has already done by allowing Beth Israel to discontinue ambulance serves on around February1) the Court should not permit Mount Sinai Defendants to engage in its proposed closures and require the Health Department to provide an explanation for failure to protect the public," the community group letter said.

Should Mount Sinai provide evidence that contradicts what the community group has provided, it asked the court to conduct an evidentiary hearing.

"Mount Sinai Defendants have conceded that the departure of staff and their non-replacement is the reason that they must close the life-saving services they seek to close," the community group letter said. "The facts will demonstrate that there are sufficient grounds to grant the relief requested."

Mount Sinai declined Becker's request for a comment regarding the lawsuit and recent letter from the community group.

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