February 13, 2014
Glen Cove Hospital to Remain 'Full Service,' Says Official
By TED PHILLIPS
North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System officials say Glen Cove Hospital will remain a "full-service" hospital, even as the staff is cut by more than half.
Before a crowd of about 100 at a town-hall meeting in Glen Cove on Wednesday night, North Shore-LIJ chief operating officer Mark Solazzo said the changes at the hospital would "better serve the community."
"We've committed that there will be a full-service emergency room, inpatient bed capacity, ICU level care, surgery available at this hospital," Solazzo said following the meeting, adding, "If there's a patient that needs an inpatient bed, there will be a bed for that patient."
Solazzo said the staff would decrease to about 600 by the end of 2014 from 1,300 a year ago. Glen Cove hospital executive director Susan Kwiatek said they had already found jobs for 500 employees in other parts of the North Shore-LIJ system and would continue to hunt for jobs for those who had not been placed.
The definition of "full-service" was not resolved among the six speakers at the meeting convened by Mayor Reginald Spinello. News last summer that the hospital would convert to an ambulatory center spawned protests, legislative proposals and an ongoing lawsuit.
The hospital's orthopedic surgery department moved last week to Syosset. The health care provider has applied to the state to relocate its psychiatric unit and 18 psychiatric beds. It also plans to move its traumatic brain surgery unit, which will require state approval.
Urologist Eric Hochberg, who has been a vocal critic of the hospital's plans, said that talks with hospital officials in the past week had been encouraging. He said that independent physicians who work at the hospital but aren't employed by it will be able to provide "almost identical services going forward."
"We're still going to have what we refer to as a full-service hospital, which to me means we have an emergency room, med-surg [medical surgical] beds, we have 24-hour operating rooms and anesthesia capabilities, we have intensive care units and critical care units available," Hochberg said. "To the private practice physician, the hospital really is not going to look any different."
North Short-LIJ senior vice president for strategic planning Jeff Kraut said changes in the health care industry -- including technological advances that diminish the need for hospitalization for some medical procedures and economic disincentives that reduce or eliminate reimbursement for certain hospital stays -- were a reality facing community hospitals everywhere.
"The movement here is to move people outside of inpatient care," Kraut said. "There's ambulatory options that didn't exist a few years ago."
Kraut said that in 2003, Glen Cove Hospital averaged 200 to 207 inpatients and by 2013 that had declined to 148. That's a 26 percent to 28.5 percent decline.
Spinello said the meeting was a terrific start to addressing the community's concerns."It was eight months late, but at least the hospital was ready to step up to the plate," Spinello said.
Glen Cove Record-Pilot
February 19, 2014
Hospital: "We'll Remain Full-Service"
Long Island Business News
Glen Cove Hospital to Remain Full-Service
By Claude Solnik
February 13th, 2014
Rather than converting Glen Cove Hospital to an outpatient facility with a small number of inpatient beds, the North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System announced plans to maintain it as a full-service community hospital.
Officials from the Great Neck-based system said during a Glen Cove City Council meeting on Wednesday that it would continue to provide inpatient beds for surgery, preserve the intensive care unit and provide as many inpatient beds as needed at the hospital.
Those are all changes from plans the system earlier stated, prompting litigation and an outcry when it said it would turn the hospital primarily into an outpatient facility.
Although the system said it would operate the emergency room and some other services, residents and some healthcare providers protested.
North Shore-LIJ officials said the changes were made after listening to the community.
“As part of our ongoing dialogue and continued partnership with physicians, we are working collaboratively to build the community hospital of the future,” Chief Medical Officer David Battinelli said in a written statement following the meeting.
The hospital, North Shore-LIJ said, will relocate its orthopedic surgery program to Syosset Hospital and will relocate its inpatient psychiatry beds and traumatic brain injury program.
The inpatient psychiatry department most likely will be relocated to Zucker Hillside Hospital or South Oaks hospital in Amityville. The traumatic brain injury rehabilitation program most likely will be relocated to North Shore University Hospital.
“There will be an inpatient bed for anyone who needs one,” NS-LIJ spokesman Terry Lynam said. “The number will depend on what’s needed in the community.”
North Shore-LIJ initial plans to turn the hospital into an ambulatory care facility that would retain an emergency room was based on projections of declining inpatient use.
“The demographics are changing in that community,” Lynam said. “Many people who used to rely on that hospital are going elsewhere.”
Other hospitals over the years have downsized their bed counts, while growing ambulatory services.
Syosset Hospital, where North Shore-LIJ plans to relocate Glen Cove’s orthopedic surgery program, itself is primarily an outpatient facility.
“There are certain hospitals that have a higher number of beds than others,” Lynam said. “This is what you’re seeing not just here on Long Island, but across the country.”