Lake Shore Health Center to Close in January | News
IRVING, NY-- Lake Shore Heath Care Center in Irving is closing its doors effective January 31, 2014. But now state lawmakers are calling for an emergency meeting with hospital officials and the State Healrth Department which must approve the hospital closing plan.
Over 400 employees would be affected as Lake Erie Regional Health System is calling for the shutdown of the hospital on Routes 5 & 20 and the connected nursing home.
NYS Senator Cathy Young says she is upset with the lack of communication from hospital officials. Some residents and doctors are also questioning the system's earlier decision to affiliate with the UPMC medical group which is based in Pittsburgh and includes Hamot Medical Center in Erie, Pa.
Hospital officials, who emailed out a letter to the community on Wednesday, cited financial challeges as reason for closing.
An Open Letter to the Community
Regarding the Closing of Lake Shore Health Care Center
As many people in our region are aware, Lake Erie Regional Health System of New York (LERHSNY) has been facing some very serious financial challenges dating back to its original formation through the merger of Brooks Memorial Hospital and TLC Health Network in 2008. Today, due in part to declining patient volumes, declining reimbursement rates, increased government mandates, and unrealized benefits of consolidation efforts related to the Berger Commission, those financial challenges are greater than ever before. In particular, Lake Shore Health Care Center in Irving (part of TLC Health Network) is projected to lose another $7 million by the end of 2013 on top of the significant losses it already had the past few years. This has put a tremendous amount of pressure on the rest of the health system to the point where bankruptcy of both Brooks Memorial Hospital and TLC Health Network would be imminent if nothing were done to rectify the situation. Therefore, at a special meeting of the LERHSNY Board of Directors on October 15, it was decided that Lake Shore Health Care Center would close its doors effective January 31, 2014.
As the health care market continues to evolve and financial pressures increase, the LERHSNY Board of Directors has been engaged in the process of ensuring the future provision of health care services for LERHSNY patients and communities. Steps we have taken thus far include:
• Hiring a new Chief Financial Officer to restructure financial operations
• Aligning staffing to volumes across the system
• Consolidating departments and services
• Implementing stringent cost-control measures
Despite the changes, the financial situation at Lake Shore Health Care Center has continued to decline to an unsustainable level. So, effective January 31, all inpatients of Lake Shore Health Care Center will be transferred to Brooks Memorial Hospital. All residents of our long term care facility will also be relocated to alternative facilities by that time.
As required, we have notified the approximately 460 employees of Lake Shore Health Care Center - including those in the administrative office building, the long term care center, and our home health division - that the anticipated last day of their employment will be as early as January 16, 2014. A hotline is also being set up for employees with questions about the closure during this time of transition.
We have also requested a 90-day window in which we will attempt to find a buyer for the Lake Shore Health Care Center campus and services.
This was a difficult decision that needed to be made, and we feel deeply for every community member and employee that this move will negatively impact. However, we strongly believe this was the only decision that would allow us to continue providing health services in other parts of our community through Brooks Memorial Hospital and our urgent and primary care facilities, and we pledge to make the transition as smooth as possible for everyone involved.
Chairman of the Board of Directors
Lake Erie Regional Health System of New York