Activists Sue For Documents Detailing Downfall Of St. Vincent’s Hospital
Community activists and former staffers of the now-shuttered St. Vincent's Hospital in New York City filed a lawsuit Monday saying the facility was brought down by mismanagement including things like golf outings that drew bills in excess of $250,000, The Associated Press reports. "The city's last Catholic-affiliated hospital filed for bankruptcy before closing in April, citing a debt topping $1 billion. ... The number of beds had been reduced from 800 a decade ago to about 400 by the time it shut down." Given the strange expenses, the attorney who filed the suit, Yetta Kurland, said, "The closure of St. Vincent's raises many questions. This is not the way a hospital trying to save itself would be acting" (Dobnik, 8/16).
The New York Post: "As first reported in The Post, brass at the Greenwich Village hospital spent $278,000 on a single golf outing, paid its top 10 execs a combined $10 million, shelled out $17 million for 'management consultants,' and listed $104 million as 'other' expenses, according to its 2008 tax return." The suit seeks to uncover documents that may shed light on that and other spending from the Department of Health. Those documents are now in the hands of a judge, and a hearing is scheduled for Sept. 8 (Freund and Bennett, 8/17).
NY1, a city television station: "Among the politicians supporting the lawsuit is City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, who said, 'I really don't understand at all how the management there let the hospital fall into such a terrible situation where we were unable to save it.'" State health department officials would not comment on the case, and St. Vincent's officials said they had not seen the lawsuit but that it was a blatant distortion of the facts (8/16).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.