N.Y. Hospitals, Nursing Homes Coping With Sandy, Other Closure Problems

In the wake of Superstorm Sandy, medical facilities are still coping with the after-effects.

The Associated Press: Sandy Highlights Nursing Home Evacuation Troubles
In Superstorm Sandy's wake, health experts and regulators are warning that thousands of nursing homes nationwide are still ill-prepared for a natural disaster. The late October storm was the latest in a string of disasters to reveal gaps in emergency planning, despite an industry-wide effort to improve preparedness in the years since Hurricane Katrina. ... Some changes could be in the works. The federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services said it expects to issue new disaster planning requirements for nursing homes this year (Caruso, 2/7).

The New York Times: Bellevue Hospital Fully Returns 99 Days After Evacuation
Ninety-nine days after it was evacuated in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, Bellevue Hospital Center fully reopened on Thursday. Bellevue, New York City's flagship public hospital, had been reopening piecemeal, but it has now resumed its status as a Level 1 trauma center and opened all 828 inpatient beds. ... Another city hospital that was forced to evacuate by the storm, Coney Island Hospital, is also making progress. Its Tower Building has reopened along with most of its inpatient beds, and the hospital is admitting walk-in patients from its emergency department and patients from other city facilities (Newman, 2/7). 

Officials are also planning to close a hospital in Brooklyn to the consternation of some --

The Wall Street Journal: Closure Plan For Brooklyn Hospital
Long Island College Hospital officials on Thursday recommended closing the 155-year-old medical center in the heart of brownstone Brooklyn at a hearing that drew anger and sadness from the doctors, nurses and residents in attendance. ... An 2013 audit by New York state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli said LICH had been operating with an annual operating loss since 1994. It was acquired by SUNY Downstate in 2011, which put significant stress on that hospital's finances, the report said. ... The hospital has 506 beds, but only 250 are in operation (Kusisto and Gay, 2/7). 

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