A U.S. Bankruptcy Court judge on Monday approved the sale of the shuttered Long Beach Medical Center to South Nassau Communities Hospital, a move that is expected to pave the way for the opening of an urgent care center — possibly by this summer — followed by a 24/7 emergency department.
The approval of an asset purchase agreement by Judge Alan S. Trust at a hearing at U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Central Islip means that South Nassau will be eligible for millions in Federal Emergency Management Agency funds, pending the agency’s approval of an “alternative use plan” for the facility, which calls for a 911-receiving emergency department at LBMC, according to attorneys for South Nassau.
The ruling capped months of what was described as “vigorous” negotiations between LBMC, SNCH and a number of creditors. Under the agreement, South Nassau will acquire the hospital — including its land, buildings and equipment — for $11.7 million.
“We will be working expeditiously to get the free-standing emergency care center up and running,” Frank Oswald, an attorney representing South Nassau, told Trust.
Meanwhile, LBMC’s Komanoff Center for Geriatric and Rehabilitative Medicine and its property will be sold to nursing home operators Michael Melnicke and Leo Friedman for $17.2 million. Melnicke said that aside from senior management, nursing home employees would keep their jobs. However, the change in nursing home operators requires approval by the state Health Department.
“We hope to restore the facility to its original luster and improve upon it,” said Melnicke, who bought the nursing home of bankrupt Peninsula Hospital Center in 2012.
The 162-bed LBMC closed after 10 feet of water flooded its basement during Sandy, causing roughly $100 million in damage. While the Komonaff Center reopened four months after the storm, all of the major work to allow two of five wings at the hospital to reopen, including the emergency department, was completed in June.