KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

St. Vincent’s Closure Sparks Concerns, Other N.Y. Hospitals Make Plans To Accommodate Patients

The planned closure of St. Vincent's Hospital in New York City raises concerns as other hospitals plan to accommodate its patients.

The Wall Street Journal: "The decision to end most services at St. Vincent's Hospital, New York City's last Catholic acute-care center, has set off a wave of concern among doctors, nurses and area residents who fear there will be a gap in care. Patients and residents of the Greenwich Village neighborhood said the closing of the 160-year-old institution meant they would have to travel dozens of blocks on New York City's congested streets to get to the nearest emergency room." Meanwhile, staff at the city's other hospitals, many already saturated with uninsured patients in the emergency room, "were bracing for more people. And doctors are scurrying to get privileges to admit patients to other hospitals, a process that can take months. ... Late Tuesday, the hospital's board voted to close emergency, surgical and in-patient care after a lengthy fight to stay afloat" (Sataline, 4/8).

The New York Times: After the announcement "other Manhattan hospitals said Wednesday that they were making plans to accommodate its patients, doctors and employees at their own institutions. ... Health care workers demonstrated outside St. Vincent's Hospital on Wednesday to protest its imminent closing. Local politicians also said that they would press for St. Vincent's to remain open at least as an urgent care facility, which would assume some of the hospital's emergency room functions. But some doctors at the hospital expressed doubt that such a facility would be a legitimate replacement for a hospital emergency room" (Hartocollis, 4/7).

New York Daily News: "St. Vincent's is the last Catholic health center left in the city and the only hospital in the Greenwich Village area" (Goldsmith, 4/8).

Modern HealthCare: "The hospital, which treated hundreds after the Sept. 11 attacks, will continue to operate outpatient services, including cancer and HIV/AIDS care, as officials look for 'new sponsors or other operating alternatives,' the system said in a statement. The system will also continue operations as it seeks to close deals for its nursing homes, home health agency and health plan" (Evans, 4/7).

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