Gone babies gone!
Long Island College Hospital is in the midst of a precipitous drop in births this year, months after threatening to shut its maternity ward, a decline that is resulting in large increases in deliveries at other Brooklyn hospitals, including a record number of births in 48 hours at one medical center.
LICH, which was on the verge of a financial crisis throughout much of last year and is still in peril, expects to deliver 1,700 babies this year, down 18 percent from 2008 and a whopping loss of 35 percent from 2007.
Hospital spokeswoman Zippi Dvash attributed the decline to last year’s announcement that “we were going to close it” because high malpractice fees and low reimbursement rates were too much of a burden.
She also added that several prominent doctors from LICH relocated their practice to New York Methodist Hospital in Park Slope, taking several hundred births with them.
But the story is reversed in other hospitals, like Methodist, Maimonides Medical Center, and Woodhull Medical Center, where it has been a struggle to handle the marginal to leaping increases they’ve seen this year, an investigation by The Brooklyn Paper has found.
Methodist has seen newborns jump of 22 percent so far this year compared to 2008.
Maimonides in Borough Park, and Woodhull, a public hospital in Williamsburg, have seen smaller gains of about three percent compared to last year.
But Maimonides was inundated with 74 newborns in a 48-hour span last week.
“We’ve stepped up when other hospitals have stepped back.” Dr. Howard Minkoff, chairman of obstetrics and gynecology at Maimonides, said after the marathon infant influx.
Last year during the debate over whether the state would allow LICH to close its obstetrics division, Maimonides and Methodist told The Brooklyn Paper that they were already stretched to the limit, while Woodhull was seeking to increase business in its obstetrics.