DOH orders Beth Israel Hospital to halt the closure process

The New York State Department of Health on Thursday ordered the Beth Israel campus at Mount Sinai to “immediately cease” closing beds and services without the agency's approval.

Local elected officials and community members believe the cease-and-desist order issued by the department is a small victory in their fight to keep it open.


What you need to know

  • The New York State Department of Health has ordered Beth Israel to stop closing beds and services without the agency's approval
  • Local elected officials believe the cease-and-desist order is a small victory in their fight to keep it open
  • DOH requires Beth Israel to provide them with a written response confirming that there will be no changes to operations until the agency approves their plan
  • The hospital could face a daily fine of $2,000 for continuing to close beds or cut services every day until the plan is approved.

Manhattan Councilwoman Carlina Rivera is among lawmakers who have pushed to keep the campus open.

“When we found out that they were cutting services and beds, not only is that not the process at the state level, but it's very tragic to hear that we're not involved and we're not being heard,” she explained.

Mount Sinai, which Beth Israel bought ten years ago, announced in early fall that the hospital would close in July, citing a $150 million profit loss this year.

The hospital submitted a closure plan to the state in October and updated it last month. The addendum included accelerated closures of staffed beds and other operations, with the rationale being to ensure patient safety and discharge staff.

“The charge letter also contained something that was very telling,” Rivera said. “People started leaving the hospital as employees after they heard it was closing. And so you can only close a hospital if you have received permission from the state.”

The Ministry of Health is now requiring Beth Israel to provide them with a written response confirming that there will be no changes to operations until the agency greenlights their plan.

A hospital representative said they have received the letter and are reviewing it, noting that patient health and safety is a priority.

“We will remain united on this issue and we will continue to fight. If it's the next six months, we won't give up. We need services here,” Rivera said.

The letter also states that the hospital could face a daily fine of $2,000 if it continues to close beds or cut services every day until their plan is approved.

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