SUNY officials worked through the weekend to try to find another health care operator to replace NYU, which pulled out, and salvage its sale of Cobble Hill’s Long Island College Hospital to Fortis. But the search is not going well, according to a story in Capital NY.
“Expectations are low,” an unnamed state official told the publication. “To have anyone come in and offer what NYU was proposing seems almost impossible.” The “never ending” litigation around the deal is a turnoff.
Initial reports of NYU withdrawing from the sale said it was because of lawsuits. But Capital NY said the reason was because NYU believed the Brooklyn judge overseeing the legal cases was asking NYU to provide more beds and services than they had proposed, according to three sources cited by the paper.
Currently, LICH is running a freestanding emergency center and treats about 24 patients a day, “at a cost to the state of approximately $6 million a month,” said the story. That seems to us like a situation that can’t continue for much longer, and SUNY’s obligation to keep it open has ended.
Both NYU and Fortis have poured millions into the deal, but even if Fortis were to find another health care partner, the approval process would be daunting. What’s more, “there is the very real possibility SUNY could be sued again for allowing any of this to go on as opposed to disqualifying Fortis’ offer because it has been materially compromised,” said the story.
Yet if LICH closes, it could be a “political problem” for de Blasio and Cuomo, with the election coming soon, according to the story. We’re not so sure about that latter point. We’d like to think the world revolves around Cobble Hill, but New York State is a big place. Plus, SUNY could move on to the fourth bidder.
What do you think?
“Expectations Are Low” for Salvaging a LICH Deal [Capital NY]