Langone backs out of hospital agreement


Christian Forte

File Photo

NYU Langone Medical Center withdrew its offer to take over the emergency services and ambulatory care at Long Island College Hospital on Sept. 19, after a Brooklyn judge stalled the deal by granting the New York State Nurses Association a temporary restraining order.

The restraining order, which was filed on Sept. 3, prevents developer Fortis Property Group and Langone from firing any nurses currently working at LICH. Fortis and Langone were prepared to buy LICH for $240 million, with an expected takeover date set for Sept. 1.

“This evening the Court ordered NYU Langone’s direct involvement in the lawsuit between New York State Nurses Association and [the] State University of New York,” an NYU Langone spokesperson said in a public statement. “We fear this would ultimately force NYU Langone to remove the highly qualified nursing staff we had hired and constrain our ability to choose nurses who meet our standards.”

The statement further expands on NYU Langone’s hiring process and said, of the 25 registered nurses hired, seven of them were current or former LICH nurses. NYSNA, however, condemns Langone’s decision to pull out of this long-awaited deal.

“NYU has walked away from its commitment to Brooklyn patients,” NYSNA executive director Jill Furillo said. “NYU’s unwillingness to live up to the commitments made in the proposal at this early stage in the process was a terrible omen for the future of care for the community served by LICH. How could LICH patients trust NYU to live up to any of its commitments in the long run if NYU was already failing to keep its word?”

This withdrawal marks the third collapse of a deal between LICH and other groups in the past year and raise, questions and concerns about the future of the hospital and its patients.

SUNY spokesman David Doyle said there are no winners in this situation.

“A highly complicated health care transaction that would have brought world class patient services and jobs to Brooklyn unraveled,” Doyle said. “The future of the facility is uncertain and SUNY will assess all available options it is entitled to under the stipulation and order.”

Until a further deal is made, SUNY will continue to manage the LICH walk-in emergency room and ambulatory care unit.

“LICH nurses have a proven track record for quality care and commitment in the community,” Furillo said. “We are ready to work with any healthcare provider that will join us in protecting care for Brooklyn patients and preserving the legacy of excellent care at LICH provided by dedicated nurses and caregivers.”

A version of this article appeared in the Tuesday, Sept. 23 print edition. Email Stephanie Grella at [email protected].