Work with us
Partly Cloudy,65°
Sunday, May 29, 2016
Long Beach Medical Center may lose E.R.
Claims state Health Dept. would end acute care, force merger with another hospital
By Anthony Rifilato and Alexandra Spychalsky
Penny Frondelli/Herald
Penny Frondelli/Herald hospital officials claim that the state Health Department is standing in the way of the facility’s reopening.

The Long Beach Medical Center, which has been closed since Hurricane Sandy caused $56 million in damage, is facing pressure from the New York State Department of Health to shutter its acute care service and merge with another hospital, possibly South Nassau Communities Hospital.

The 162-bed facility closed when 10 feet of water flooded its basement during the storm. Hospital spokeswoman Sharon Player told the Herald last week that all major work to allow two wings to open, including the emergency department, had been completed. But before the hospital can reopen, both the county fire marshal and the Health Department must inspect it to ensure that it is up to code, Player said.

According to an advertisement in this week’s issue of the Herald by the hospital’s board of trustees, the state does not want the facility to resume its acute care operations, meaning that the facility would no longer have a functioning emergency room.

Without an acute care center, hospital officials said, the facility would no longer have in-patient services. Officials said that the Health Department does not want the hospital to function as a “911-receiving emergency department.” Though it might be allowed to provide some urgent care, such services would not be offered on a 24/7 basis.

“We feel that the community deserves more than that,” a spokeswoman said. “Given the size and geographic isolation of the community, an acute-care hospital with emergency services is clinically appropriate and can be financially viable.”

Since the storm, patients with medical emergencies have been taken to Nassau University Medical Center, South Nassau Communities Hospital or other area facilities. But many city officials complain that the trip takes too long — a Long Beach ambulance may not return for 90 minutes — which not only puts patients at risk, but strains the city’s resources.

“Obviously, Fire Department-wise, we want a local emergency room to transport our patients to,” Fire Commissioner Scott Kemins said. “It puts a strain on our EMS system, and ambulance turnaround times are longer.”


8 comments on this story | Please log in to comment by clicking here
Please log in or register to add your comment

This is an attrocity, and only the beginning. Still 6 mos before Obamacrap is implememted.

I wonder how Long Beach voted in the last pres election?

Thursday, June 27, 2013 | Report this

It is absolutely necessary and imperative for LB to have its own ER...as someone whose children frequent the beach...as someone whose family members reside in LB.. as as someone who resided in LB during the last big storm that cut LB off from the mainland...without its own viable ER....in close proximity to and always accessible to beach goers, surfers, and residents is very simply-a tragedy is waiting to happen. This is more important than any boardwalk and every resident and non resident who uses the beach should stand up and be heard!

Thursday, June 27, 2013 | Report this

How getting this hospital up and running isn't a main priority is totally reprehensible. Let's take sorely needed funds and get the boardwalk rebuilt, yet ignore an institution that can save many lives. Crazy! Too many unused beds? Someone should take a look at the overcrowded South Nassau Comm. Hosp.

Thursday, June 27, 2013 | Report this

You what you vote for so now live with it.They should turn the facilityu into a Drug and Alchole rehabe. We have enought in the town to suooprt that program.

Thursday, June 27, 2013 | Report this

The sad part is that it will take someones death to get the ball rolling. The hospital has been a financial mess for a long time. Employees have listened to the CEO's stories and have not had a raise in years. I wonder what perks all the higher ups surrendered. Bottom line is that LBMC needs an overhaul. They need new people in charge who see a future for the hospital not people who are on their way to retirement and just looking to see how much money they can walk away with. I've lived here all my life and this is the most dangerous time of year. And anyone that lives here knows how crowded that bridge gets at times and it's only a matter of time before someone dies because the bridge is up and/or traffic is jammed. School is out now...how long before an out-of-towner hits the beach and needs to be saved. The heat has started...how about all our seniors? The people we've elected need to start speaking up for us and our safety. A boardwalk can be built any time ..someones life and death situation can't be put on hold.

Friday, June 28, 2013 | Report this

Yes, we should be heard. First, get rid of the entire staff and start over (as in local doctors and insensitive nurses and aides), Second several pediatric physicians and beds for pediatrics, also equipment for use for pediatrics, Third, a qualified amount of physicians in all fields other than the good old boys of Long Beach. Fourth, a greater housekeeping department, complete with mops, dust mops, dusting cloths and sanitary cleaners. And finally, enough linens to sustain the hospital on a daily basis that are clean and not JUST ENOUGH. And the most important thing is that the staff NOT be allowed to discuss patients in public places or AT ALL other than to family of the patients, WITH PERMISSION! The HIPPA LAW is VERY MUCH ALIVE. We need great care in LB, NOT the substandard care we were receiving before SANDY. We have a community of young AND old, and all in between. They ALL should get good quality care. The old LBMH was a geriatric facility at best, with substandard care for others. The NEW LBMH should be for everyone and have great qualified doctors from other communities willing to come here. Not avoid us because of the bad reputation that preceeds it. So, now that you know some of the needs, get on it and see what you can do.

Saturday, June 29, 2013 | Report this

I know that under new leadership, this hospital would flourish. To leave it as is is to go backwards. Many people go outside of LB when they need a hospital or fear of DYING in LBMH. That is the reputation it has. That, plus misdiagnosis and over medicating and not listening to the patients complaints. We need new leadership if this facility is ever going to serve this community. I hope we can achieve these things, or many of us will continue to go elsewhere for care.

Saturday, June 29, 2013 | Report this

Thie inside story is the management needs to go and North Shore might take over. ER is critical for LB. North Shore mgt would be a boon. This is about nothing more than better mgt needed.

Monday, July 1, 2013 | Report this
Terms of Use | Advertising | Careers | Contact Us | Community Links © 2016 Richner Communications, Inc.