Court Postpones Hearing on Interfaith Hospital Closing

By Sarah Matheson
Sarah Matheson
Sarah Matheson
Sarah Matheson covers the business of luxury for Epoch Times. Sarah has worked for media organizations in New Zealand, Australia, and the United States. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology, and graduated with merit from the Aoraki Polytechnic School of Journalism in 2005. Sarah is almost fluent in Mandarin Chinese. Originally from New Zealand, she now lives next to the Highline in Manhattan's most up-and-coming neighborhood, West Chelsea.
August 9, 2013 Updated: August 9, 2013

NEW YORK—The Interfaith Medical Center in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, will remain open a little longer.

The hospital was scheduled to appear in Bankruptcy Court on Aug. 15 to authorize its closing plan, but the court hearing has been delayed to Aug. 26.

If the court grants Interfaith permission to start its closing proceedings, the clinics run by the medical center are likely to continue operations through other providers, a spokesperson for the hospital said.

Patrick Sullivan, Interim President and CEO of Interfaith Medical Center, said Interfaith provides “Crucial health care services to the poor, medically underserved and largely Afro-American and Afro-Caribbean people of central Brooklyn in a cost effective and fiscally sustainable manner.”

Interfaith is currently losing about $1.5 million dollars a month. A spokesperson for the hospital said state funding cuts to Medicaid reimbursements were to blame for the medical center’s poor financial condition.

More than 95 percent of patients cared for at Interfaith have Medicaid or are uninsured, and the State of New York is the hospital’s only source of funding.

The spokeswoman said the state had cut Medicaid reimbursements by 40 percent from 2010 to 2012.

“So that’s what happened to us. What we were being paid did not pay for the services that were being rendered,” she said.

Interfaith started bankruptcy proceedings in December last year and in June submitted a restructuring plan to the Department of Health, but was told to submit a closure plan instead.

If interfaith gets court approval, it will begin to discharge or transfer patients, and then stop accepting new patients.

Of Interfaith’s 287 beds in service, 117 beds are allocated for surgery and ICU patients, 120 for mental health services, 20 for drug detoxification, 20 for rehabilitation services, and 10 beds for pediatric patients.

The mental health unit comprises approximately 42 percent of the hospital’s outpatient visits. It has the third largest number of behavioral health discharges in Brooklyn.

Sarah Matheson
Sarah Matheson
Sarah Matheson covers the business of luxury for Epoch Times. Sarah has worked for media organizations in New Zealand, Australia, and the United States. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology, and graduated with merit from the Aoraki Polytechnic School of Journalism in 2005. Sarah is almost fluent in Mandarin Chinese. Originally from New Zealand, she now lives next to the Highline in Manhattan's most up-and-coming neighborhood, West Chelsea.