2/17/13

"People Will Die"

If SUNY Downstate Medical Center closes Long Island College Hospital, said Daily News columnist Denis Hamill, people -- from Red Hook, Boerum Hill, Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn Heights -- will die.

Last year, the ER at LICH handled 60,000 arrivals.

The death-by-merger of LICH, Hamill said, began in 2009, when SUNY Downstate took on $300 million in debt run up by Continuum Health Partners, headed by Stanley Brezenoff.

Known at LICH as "Darth Vader", Brezenoff is part of the city's "permanent government".  When appointed by Mayor Ed Koch to run the patronage-larded feudal fiefdom known as the NYC Health and Hospitals Corporation, Brezenoff mined HHC for the names of all the shadowy players in the city, state and federal Medicaid and Medicare rackets.

When he left HHC, said Hamill, Brezenoff took those names with him to Continuum, of which Beth Israel is the mothership.

The 2009 SUNY Downstate merger allowed Brezenoff to push the $300 million for which Continuum had bled the once-profitable LICH onto the taxpayers.  State Controller Thomas DiNapoli, after an audit, found that the state should never have approved that merger.

On February 8 this year, the SUNY Downstate board voted to close LICH, but the State Dept. of Health has not yet approved the decision. LICH remains open in the meantime.

Closing LICH would mean the loss of over 2,000 jobs: emergency room doctors, maternity nurses, cardiologists, paramedics.

The article from the Daily News.

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