Jill Furillo, Executive Director of NYSNA, wrote an article in the NY Daily News yesterday on our struggle to keep Interfaith Medical Center open for care.
Furillo highlights that Interfaith is the go-to hospital for 160,000 residents of Central Brooklyn. It is a full service institution and "the largest private behavioral health facility in Brooklyn, providing 14% of in-patient psychiatric care in the borough, or one of every 25 psychiatric beds in all of New York City." Brooklyn residents have come to rely on these services.
Currently Interfaith is more than full: it is operating at 104% capacity, in part due to season-related sickness and injury. But it is in bankruptcy because "more than 60% of Interfaith’s patients are enrolled in Medicaid, which translates to low reimbursements to hospitals. A small portion of just-awarded Medicaid waiver funds would keep Interfaith open for care."
As Bill de Blasio noted last summer, the two hospitals closest to Interfaith would only be able to absorb between 28% and 36% of its patients.
This needs to be contrasted with the construction of the $2 billion David H. Koch Center on Manhattan’s East Side, an ambulatory facility affiliated with New York Presbyterian system. In comparison to Brooklyn and other boroughs and Manhattan neighborhoods, the area is already full of healthcare facilities. Much of the money used to build the Koch Center was raised by donation: this sum would keep Interfaith operating for a half-century.
As Furillo notes, "the Interfaith community and supporters are working on a comprehensive plan to help bring the hospital’s monthly shortfall down and to make it viable in the long term. All of New York should root for its success."