Since 2000, 19 New York City hospitals have closed. Dr. Kenneth Davis, Mount Sinai Health System's CEO, doesn't want to be responsible for the loss of No. 20.
Davis and Mount Sinai said last week that they will restructure Mount Sinai Beth Israel and invest at least $550 million to increase the hospital's outpatient services and cut 89% of its inpatient beds. The restructuring will last through July 2020. The plans will be financed with cash, not debt, Davis said.
Early press reports had suggested the hospital would close.
“Nobody here is closing the doors, taking away the keys and telling everyone who is employed there that they're no longer employed there, and telling patients to find another place,” Davis said in an interview, exasperated at the confusion about his plan. “That's been the model of the 19 other hospitals that have closed before us (since 2000). This is not a closure. That's why we call it a transformation. That's why it's taking four years.”
Mount Sinai Beth Israel and its affiliates lost $115 million in 2015, an enormous sum, even when compared with New York City's most troubled hospitals.
Davis said efforts are underway to preserve about 4,000 union jobs by retraining and redeploying workers to better meet the needs of the system. There won't be any administrative job cuts either. Because the work will take four years, resident physicians will be accommodated as well.
“There will be no layoffs,” he said. “Mount Sinai has turnover of some 2,000 workers a year. With the turnover we have, plus the programs that we're building, we are confident that we will be able to find jobs for all the employees, particularly because this is such a gradual transition.”