Long Island College Hospital’s future remains unclear

Cobble Hill, BROOKLYN (PIX11) — Dozens once again gathered outside Long Island College Hospital in Brooklyn to protest the plan for the hospital’s future.

Ever since SUNY Downstate bought the hospital, LICH has been on life support, struggling to stay open.

SUNY claims LICH is losing millions of dollars each month and it can’t afford to keep it running.

Add to that low insurance reimbursement from Medicaid and a large patient base with no insurance and SUNY says it must sell LICH.

While the hospital may not be profiting, some of the employees clearly are.

According to the New York State Controller’s Office, 34 of the top 100 highest paid state employees are employed by SUNY Downstate.

The total cost for those salaries totals more than $16.2 million.

“It is kind of outrageous that people are being paid millions of dollars while they’re saying they can’t afford to take care of the hospital,” Julie Semente, a LICH Nurse said.

In a statement, a spokesperson for Downstate told us:

“Our doctors and other medical professionals are some of the best around and they are compensated at levels near, but still below, their colleagues at other academic medical centers in New York City. The cost of those salaries is offset by revenue our teaching faculty generates by seeing patients.”

Months ago the Legislature stepped in to prevent Downstate from closing the hospital and suggested cutting the bloated budget as part of a plan to keep LICH open.

But now Governor Cuomo is proposing to have a private business take over and run the hospital, an idea that does not sit well with local leadership.

This isn’t the first time Governor Cuomo has tried to get a for-profit company to take over a Brooklyn hospital.  Back in March, the Governor wanted two hospitals to be run by for-profit agencies.  Now that number is up to five.  But people here say the problem with that is that for-profit companies put their profits before patients.

Many are worried private businesses would deny patients without insurance and cut valuable staff positions and protestors say what makes it worse is that similar models have failed in other parts of the country.

Still the state is expected to start taking formal proposals from prospective buyers later this week.

Dozens once again gathered outside Long Island College Hospital in Brooklyn to protest the plan for the hospital’s future.

Ever since SUNY Downstate bought the hospital LICH has been on life support, struggling to stay open.

SUNY claims LICH is losing millions of dollars each month and it can’t afford to keep it running.

Add to that low insurance reimbursement from Medicaid and a large patient base with no insurance and SUNY says it must sell LICH.

While the hospital may not be profiting, some of the employees clearly are.

According to the New York State Controller’s Office, 34 of the top 100 highest paid state employees are employed by SUNY Downstate.

The total cost for those salaries totals more than $16.2 million.

“It is kind of outrageous that people are being paid millions of dollars while they’re saying they can’t afford to take care of the hospital,” Julie Semente, a LICH Nurse said.

In a statement, a spokesperson for Downstate told us:

“Our doctors and other medical professionals are some of the best around and they are compensated at levels near, but still below, their colleagues at other academic medical centers in New York City. The cost of those salaries is offset by revenue our teaching faculty generates by seeing patients.”

Months ago the Legislature stepped in to prevent Downstate from closing the hospital and suggested cutting the bloated budget as part of a plan to keep LICH open.

But now Governor Cuomo is proposing to have a private business take over and run the hospital, an idea that does not sit well with local leadership.

This isn’t the first time Governor Cuomo has tried to get a for-profit company to take over a Brooklyn hospital.  Back in March, the Governor wanted two hospitals to be run by for-profit agencies.  Now that number is up to five.  But people here say the problem with that is that for-profit companies put their profits before patients.

Many are worried private businesses would deny patients without insurance and cut valuable staff positions and protestors say what makes it worse is that similar models have failed in other parts of the country.

Still the state is expected to start taking formal proposals from prospective buyers later this week.

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