Long Island College Hospital woes could gore SUNY Downstate

February 07, 2014 02:40PM

Faltering attempts to close, sell and revamp the site of Brooklyn’s troubled Long Island College Hospital could pull the state’s flagship Brooklyn hospital down as well, politicians warn.

The ongoing legal battle and resulting money vacuum has placed the State University of New York Downstate Medical Center in East Flatbush in jeopardy, pols said at a Thursday event at the Saint Lucia House. When the state assumed control of Cobble Hill’s LICH in 2011, the fate of SUNY Downstate Medical Center became tied to the hospital’s outcome, according to state representatives. University trustees now say that a sale of the site, which is currently valued at around $500 million, may not be enough to stem the hemorrhaging of cash.

“Even if we execute a sale of the property that yields the appraised value, SUNY will still be left with a gap of at least $300 million,” Robert Haelen, interim chief financial officer for the board of trustees, said at the meeting.

Governor Andrew Cuomo’s recent budget proposal would cut public teaching hospital funding by as much as half, union officials allege, according to published reports. Mayor Bill de Blasio is seeking a waiver that would enable the spending of $10 billion in Medicaid funds to aid troubled hospitals all over New York. [Brooklyn Paper]Julie Strickland