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Is it Splitsville for LICH and Continuum? Board meeting today could begin divorce

The Brooklyn Paper
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Long Island College Hospital is on the critical list — and now its management company may be about to pull the plug.

That’s the rumor flying around the hallways and examining rooms of the deeply indebted medical center hours before a board meeting this afternoon that is expected to give Continuum Health Partners permission to sever its ties to the Cobble Hill facility.

Here’s how the deal — and the hospital, perhaps — would go down, insiders say:

The LICH board will meet this afternoon and will likely discuss “authorizing Continuum’s president, Stanley Brezenoff, to begin negotiating an end to [the company’s] relationship with Long Island College Hospital,” a tipster with told The Brooklyn Paper.

Others confirmed the buzz that the LICH board — whose members also sit on Continuum’s board — is about to end Continuum’s relationship with the 150-year-old medical center.

Indeed, Continuum has long said that the hospital is a money pit. This year, after selling some high-priced hospital real estate, Continuum asked the state for permission to close the hospital’s popular obstetrics, pediatrics and dentistry divisions, citing a need to staunch a $170-million debt.

But the state did not allow Continuum to close the money-losing wings, so Continuum is pondering Plan B — though a company spokeswoman refused to speculate on what will be discussed today at 5 pm.

“I know there is a regularly scheduled board meeting — I don’t know what the agenda is,” said the spokeswoman Zippi Dvash.

A LICH–Continuum divorce could move the LICH medical staff, which fought against the proposed shuttering of the obstetrics and pediatrics wards — plans that the state eventually nixed — one step closer to its dream of a real partnership between doctors and hospital brass.

“We would expect to be assenting partners,” said medical staff President Dr. Arnold Licht. “The idea of just becoming owned by someone else does not serve our purpose, going from one slavish relationship to another.”

Updated 5:10 pm, July 9, 2018
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