SUNY plans to create Brooklyn hospital network; cede management of LICH

SUNY presented its restructuring plan to its Board of Trustees on Tuesday, May 28, outlining its plan to save itself and SUNY Downstate Hospital by not only ceding ownership of Long Island College Hospital (LICH) to one of five potential healthcare institutions, but by also streamlining its teaching hospital, University Hospital of Brooklyn (UHB).

SUNY also aims to strengthen the greater Brooklyn health care system by creating a Brooklyn hospital network that could potentially allow more collaboration for degrees of patient care, and also enable a pooling of influence when dealing with the administrative sides of things.

“[Each hospital] will continue to have their own finances and infrastructure,” said John Williams, president of SUNY Downstate. “This would be a vehicle to bring everyone together so that we can do the contracting, we can do the procurement, we can go to managed care companies.”

Such a Brooklyn hospital network would also allow UHB to restructure itself, focusing primarily on acute care. Outpatient services could then be moved to primary care clinics and home visits.

The requested cost from SUNY is $150 million.

The SUNY Board of Trustees will now submit the sustainability plan by Saturday, June 1, seeking approval from the state Department of Health and state Division of the Budget. If approved in time, the plan would go into effect by June 15.

If it is not approved, then the worst case scenario is a shutdown or major reduction in services of SUNY Downstate’s hospitals, medical system and other systems, which includes the SUNY college system.

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