Jamaica-Lenox Hill Makes Offer For Flushing Hospital Merger Mania Sweeps Queens Hospital Business – QNS.com

Jamaica-Lenox Hill Makes Offer For Flushing Hospital Merger Mania Sweeps Queens Hospital Business

The battle for control of Flushing Hospital intensified last week as Jamaica Hospital and its new partner, Lenox Hill Hospital in Manhattan, made a proposal to manage the financially-troubled institution for an initial sum estimated at $20 million, The Queens Courier has learned exclusively.
Within hours after Jamaica Hospital announced its intention to acquire control of Flushing Hospital on Jan. 15, a second medical complex, North Shore-Long Island Jewish Medical Center, wrote Flushing Hospital officials reportedly requesting information so that it could provide a bid for the institution.
A spokesperson for Long Island Jewish/North Shore confirmed that discussions had taken place but no offer has been made.
According to insiders at Flushing Hospital, the combination of Jamaica and Lenox Hill appear to have the best chance to win the assent of Flushing board members, the Flushing Hospital creditors’ committee and the federal bankruptcy judge.
"Flushing’s medical staff and unions prefer the Jamaica-Lenox Hill group over New York Hospital Queens," the source said, "because NYHQ has been dismantling Flushing Hospital and moving its resources to its home base on Main St."
According to Mark Genovese, a spokesperson for the New York State Nurses’ Assoc., the nurses’ union at Flushing Hospital prefers a Hospital run by Jamaica and Lenox Hill.
"We welcome this entity," he said, "we didn’t like the way New York Hospital Queens has been draining Flushing Hospital dry."
Genovese called the Jamaica-Lenox Hill plan "simple and good. We can’t support the ‘liquidation’ plan proposed by New York Hospital Queens."
Meanwhile, Steve Kramer, executive vice president of the National Health & Human Service Employees Union Local 1199, said his group supports Jamaica and Lenox Hill.
"Flushing Hospital will have a great future under these hospitals," he said. "Under New York Hospital Queens Flushing Hospital would be closed."
He said that NYHQ’s plan for Flushing Hospital is filled with fees and charges and amounts to nothing more than an offer to close the institution. He said that Lenox Hill is prepared to provide members of its medical team to the Flushing medical staff.
Ole W. Pedersen, vice president of Jamaica Hospital’s Emergency Medicine and Public Affairs, issued the following statement:
"Jamaica Hospital Medical Center, in cooperation with Lenox Hill Hospital, made a proposal today to a committee of trustees and medical staff members of Flushing Hospital to assume responsibility for management and operations, resolve the bankruptcy, and restructure financial obligations. The proposal will be presented to the Flushing Hospital creditors’ committee next week.
"The management of both Jamaica Hospital Medical Center and Lenox Hill Hospital expressed their strong confidence that financial stability can be achieved and that Flushing Hospital could flourish as a full service, acute care community hospital.
The proposal has the strong endorsement of Local 1199, the New York State Nurses’ Assoc. and the Committee of Interns and Residents, the collective bargaining representatives for Flushing Hospital employees.
"We are optimistic that if our proposal is accepted, the community would support our efforts to achieve a financial turnaround and reestablish Flushing Hospital as a major provider of healthcare services to the people of Northern Queens," said David P. Rosen, president and chief executive officer of Jamaica Hospital Medical Center."
The $20 million offer reportedly includes $8 million in debit financing and $12 million earmarked for creditors with a promise to make full reimbursement in the near future. Flushing also has to contend with $84 million in outstanding medical malpractice claims.
A spokesperson for Lenox Hill Hospital on Manhattan’s East Side said "Lenox Hill Hospital has discussed with Jamaica Hospital the possibility of participating in a plan to manage Flushing Hospital. Lenox Hill has begun to analyze and evaluate its possible participation in this plan and no decision has been made."
Lenox Hill replaced an earlier Jamaica Hospital partner, Beth Israel Medical Center. Beth Israel reportedly bowed out after lt balked at the financial commitment to the project.
New York Hospital Queens has also submitted a proposal for managing Flushing Hospital.
Although NYHQ would not comment on the details of its plan, Genovese of The New York State Nurses’ Assoc., said it involved a $25 million bid over three years and a stipulation to terminate agreements with the Hospital’s unions.
Brian Salisbury, spokesperson for New York Hospital Queens, said the final decision on who acquires control of Flushing Hospital is in the hands of Flushing’s board of trustees. He said that the institution is owned by The New York Hospital-Presbyterian Network, but added that the building’s mortgage holder is The U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development.
"As mortgage holder," he said, "HUD is the biggest creditor and a member of the Flushing Hospital creditors’ committee."
He said that as far as unions are concerned under the NYHQ plan that the cooperation and understanding of the unions would be necessary to pull Flushing Hospital out of its financial crisis.
Why the intense interest in a hospital in financial shambles? Insiders said the new suitors believe that Flushing is an economic epicenter of Queens and a revived Flushing Hospital could prove a valuable asset to Jamaica Hospital and its MediSys units throughout the borough.
Flushing Hospital sources, who asked not to be identified, said that its physicians and unions favor Jamaica and Lenox Hill for two reasons:
• They are the largest of the last two remaining independent hospitals in the City — considered an advantage for Flushing Hospital scrambling to regain its lost prestige.
• Jamaica Hospital has impressed the Flushing Hospital staff because of its success in turning the Hospital around under the leadership of President David P. Rosen.
"It’s a matter now of the best deal on the table," the source said. "The process is likely to take two to three months before a decision is made."
The offers by Jamaica/Lenox Hill and New York Hospital Queens will be the subject of the next Flushing Hospital creditors’ committee on Jan. 22, as will the anticipated entry of North Shore/Long Island Jewish into the Flushing Hospital picture.
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