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Staffers had to evacuate patients to other facilities during Superstorm Sandy.
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NYU Langone rebounding financially from Superstorm Sandy

By Bob Herman
Posted: July 30, 2014 - 3:15 pm ET

NYU Langone Medical Center is well on the mend from the damage Superstorm Sandy wreaked on its New York City facilities more than a year and a half ago, its latest financials demonstrate.

Revenue, income and volumes surged for NYU Langone in the nine-month period ended May 31. The academic medical center had been reduced to several months of limited operations last year because of the storm's damage to its facilities in October 2012.

“As the 'Ghostbusters' line goes: We're back,” NYU Langone Chief Financial Officer Michael Burke said in an interview.

The 791-bed NYU Langone opened its new full-service emergency department in April; damages from Sandy forced the original ED to close 18 months prior to that. As of May 31, the new ED has received more than 6,700 visits, with 1 in 5 of those resulting in an admission to the center's Tisch Hospital. Although the medical center had off-site urgent-care centers during the transition period, they couldn't make up for the volume of a full-service ED, Burke said.

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“It's doing better than even we thought,” Burke said of the ED. “I attribute almost all of this transformation in profitability to the ED opening up.”

NYU Langone received another piece of good news Tuesday. After 18 months of working with the feds, it will receive $1.13 billion in funds from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to repair and restore the medical center's campus. It is the second-largest grant in FEMA's history, according to a release from Sen. Chuck Schumer's office.

The FEMA grant will help NYU Langone and its medical school rebuild several projects that were located below ground level and consequently destroyed by Sandy. Officials expect the entire campus overhaul—including a co-generation plant to produce its own power—will be completed by 2017 or 2018.

“It's really going to help us recover. We couldn't have done it without the federal government,” Burke said. However, the FEMA money will not cover an estimated $400 million in lost revenue, he said.

In the nine months of fiscal 2014, which began Sept. 1, NYU Langone's operating surplus almost tripled to $124.3 million. The organization's total surplus was $107.2 million, compared with a total loss of $24.7 million in the first nine months of fiscal 2013. Revenue soared 15% to $1.67 billion.

The medical center's inpatient discharges, excluding newborns, increased 26%, while total outpatient visits were up 23%.

Within the financial documents, NYU Langone also mentioned it is still negotiating a lease with Fortis Property Group to provide various healthcare services at the campus of what was Long Island College Hospital in Brooklyn. A potential deal bubbled to the surface in June.

If approved, NYU Langone would operate a free-standing ED, an ambulatory surgery center, a cancer center and a multispecialty practice at the site, but the disclosure said “there can be no assurance the transaction will be completed.”

“We're still working that out,” Burke said.

Follow Bob Herman on Twitter: @MHbherman

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