KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

The Closing Of St. Vincent’s Hospital Creates Many Uncertainties In N.Y.

The Wall Street Journal reports on the closing of St. Vincent's Hospital in Manhattan. One story details how the staff of St. Vincent's has not yet received details about the hospital's closing on Friday. The hospital has been slowly winding down services since it announced its closure. "The emergency room stopped admitting patients and ambulances started going elsewhere, leaving the emergency room focused on walk-ins. Their needs have run the gamut. Tuesday night, for example, brought a patient with a possible ruptured aorta and a handful of psychiatric patients," according to an emergency room nurse (Rockoff, 4/29).

In a separate, related story, The Wall Street Journal notes that the hospital's closing is expected to crowd the number of health care workers looking for jobs in the city. "More than 3,500 employees will have lost their jobs when St. Vincent's Hospital in Manhattan effectively closes on Friday, weeks after filing for bankruptcy when deals to merge with other hospital systems fell apart. As of March, the city's hospitals employed nearly 162,000 people." However, experts are optimistic about the prospects of laid-off employees. "As hospitals close, those workers get absorbed one way or the other. … The skilled professionals get gobbled up, but the less skilled, traditionally, have the union behind them," said Sean Cavanaugh, director of healthcare finance at the United Hospital Fund, a nonprofit research organization (Sataline, 4/29). This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.