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Bellevue Hospital

NYC system pegs Sandy costs at $810 million

By Melanie Evans
Posted: January 8, 2013 - 6:15 pm ET

The New York City Health and Hospitals Corp. estimates that costs related to superstorm Sandy will hit $810 million.

HHC said the cost to fully reopen hospitals closed by superstorm Sandy (PDF), repair other storm damage across the system and prepare for future storms will total $610 million.

The figure includes $137.5 million for initial response to the storm, such pumping water from flooded hospitals that included Bellevue Hospital and Coney Island Hospital, which evacuated a combined 900 patients in the days after the storm made landfall Oct. 29. Bellevue Hospital remains closed to inpatients. Coney Island Hospital began to admit a limited number of psychiatric patients at the end of December, HHC spokeswoman Ana Marengo said. HHC said an estimated $472.5 million would be needed for the cost of repair to critical electrical and mechanical systems and modifications to prepare for future storms, including one proposal to relocate Coney Island Hospital's emergency room.

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Marengo said the storm costs were included in New York State's request for federal relief aid.

Lost revenue cost the system an estimated $180 million, HHC said.

Preparation for superstorm Sandy cost an estimated $20 million, according to HHC. The estimated storm-related expense also include costs from HHC's Coler-Goldwater Specialty Hospital and Nursing Facility, Harlem Hospital Center, Metropolitan Hospital Center, Queens Hospital Center, Jacobi Medical Center, Kings County Hospital Center and Gouverneur Healthcare Services.

Coney Island Hospital is scheduled to fully open its inpatient psychiatric services Jan. 14 and is expected to accept other inpatients by mid-January, Marengo said.

Other New York hospitals severely damaged by the storm continue to recover. NYU Langone Medical Center, which evacuated during the storm, began to admit patients in late December.

Jennifer Sammartino, a spokeswoman for the Veterans Affairs New York Harbor Healthcare System, said no estimate was yet available for storm damage to its Manhattan hospital, which was evacuated ahead of the storm and remains closed. No date has been set for the hospital to begin admitting patients; outpatient services are expected to resume in March, she said.

Sharon Player, a spokeswoman for the Long Beach (N.Y.) Medical Center, which also evacuated before the storm and remains closed because of flood damage, said the latest estimate of costs to rebuild, replace equipment and prepare for future storms totals $56 million.

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