Mount Sinai Sets Beth Israel Closure Date
By Arthur Schwartz
According to a leaked memo the behemoth Mount Sinai Hospital, plans to close Beth Israel Hospital, which runs from 16th to 17th Street on First Avenue on July 12, 2024. This, as we reported last month, is a total turn-around from Mt. Sinai’s promise two years ago to never close Beth Israel, after it learned of its importance to the whole of Lower Manhattan during the Pandemic. This will mark the second time that Mt. Sinai has lied to our community.
Sinai says it is shuttering Beth Israel due to “insurmountable financial challenges,” all of its own creation. They submitted a closure plan to the state Department of Health on October 25.
In the memo to staff, Mt. Sinai President Kenneth Davis stated that “Over the past decade, we have invested more than $1 billion into MSBI, and evaluated and reevaluated every possible path forward. But, in the end, this hospital—despite its brilliant, hardworking, and loyal staff—simply cannot overcome the realities of modern-day health care.” The reality of modern-day health care, even to a “non-profit” institution live Mt. Sinai, is profit.
These nonprofit hospitals also boast huge executive salaries. Mount Sinai CEO Kenneth Davis made $5.6 million in 2019, the last year for which complete tax records are available. Montefiore CEO Philip Ozuah made $7.4 million in 2020. In its filings with the IRS, Mount Sinai disclosed that 15 executives made more than $1 million annually in 2019. Montefiore disclosed ten in 2020, with all making more than $1.5 million.
Davis’ note states that the hospital and emergency room will remain “open” (it is already largely closed) as July approaches and that Beth Israel’s closure will not impact the other facilities on the Beth Israel license, such as its new behavioral health center on the Lower East Side. The New York Eye & Ear Infirmary’s specialty services “will not be affected” by the campus closing, Davis says. NYEEI doctors, who have been resisting a Beth Israel merger, are wary.
Sinai spokeswoman Lucia Lee said in September 2023 that Beth Israel stands to lose another $150 million this year on top of the nearly $1 billion in losses it has already sustained. Labor and supply costs at the hospital have grown while its inpatient census has dropped. Beth Israel is running at 20% capacity, since it closed most of its key services in 2019-2020 (maternity, neo-natal care, heart surgery etc).
Mount Sinai Beth Israel has 696 beds and is a teaching hospital. According to Crains NY, “It remains unclear what the space will be used for.” Luxury condos anyone?
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