• Peconic Bay Medical Center and the Long Island Chapter of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation will present an Insulin Pump Therapy Seminar Monday, March 23, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. in the hospital’s second-floor Conference Room A. This hands-on seminar on the T1D Series is appropriate for those using or just considering such therapy. RSVP by March 20 to [email protected] or 631-768-3389. (more…)
Locked in a dispute over the amount of fees Peconic Bay Medical Center should pay the Riverhead Industrial Development Agency due to a change in the hospital’s IDA financial assistance — a debate that amounted to a difference of $114,631 versus $2,500 — the two sides went behind closed doors Friday and emerged with a compromise that will end up with the hospital paying $35,000 in IDA fees.
The IDA, which grants tax incentives to lure new businesses to Riverhead Town, can also issue tax-exempt bonding for nonprofit agencies like hospitals. It funds its own budget by charging fees to the businesses it helps. How those fees are determined is spelled out in a schedule of fees available on the IDA website.
Peconic Bay Medical Center is set to begin construction on a new progressive care unit to care for patients in need of intermediate care following surgery, a wing that those at the hospital say will allow patients coming out of surgery to heal faster and more comfortably.
“This new unit has been a vision of the surgical staff for many years. It is the reflection of the expansion of the surgical program and the fact that we are treating more complex surgical patients,” said Andrew Mitchell, hospital CEO and president during a wall breaking ceremony Thursday morning. “Those patients require an intermediate level of care after their surgery.”
Despite news that Southampton Hospital is one step closer to merging with Stony Brook University Medical Center, officials of the East End Health Alliance say their association with the South Fork hospital is intact — at least for now.
Formation of the Alliance — established in part to offer community hospitals better leverage in dealing with large insurance companies and to minimize competition among facilities — was recommended in a 2006 report by the Berger Commission, a state panel that examines health care capacity and resources in New York State.
Last Tuesday, the State University of New York Board of Trustees voted unanimously to move forward with an affiliation that, once finalized, will allow Southampton Hospital to provide care under Stony Brook’s state operating license.
Any agreement would require the approval of multiple state regulatory authorities, including the state Department of Health, Attorney General’s office and state comptroller, according to a Stony Brook press release about the decision.
Peconic Bay Medical Center and Eastern Long Island Hospital — the other members of the East End Health Alliance — are also pursuing affiliations with a larger health system and are currently in talks with both Stony Brook and North Shore-LIJ.
If all three East End hospitals do not choose to align with the same larger system, “the Alliance would disestablish,” said ELIH president and CEO Paul Connor, an Alliance spokesman.
Alliance members met most recently Dec. 14, when they finalized a new contract with Empire Blue Cross that took effect Jan. 1, Mr. Connor said.
“No determination has been made to end the Alliance,” he added.
Disbanding it would require coordinated meetings and conversations by the organization’s board, said Demetrios Kadenas, chief development officer for PBMC Health.
The potential mergers are a response to new insurance reimbursement methods brought about by the Affordable Care Act, which now place a value on the quality and outcomes of care provided instead of the extent of care, Mr. Connor said in a release.
“ELIH has much to gain in terms of financial stability by partnering with one of these [larger systems],” he said.
Stony Brook officials are now working to file a Certificate of Need with the state health department that will be evaluated to ensure services align with community needs, according to the health department website.
Andrew Mitchell, president and CEO of PBMC Health, said that “as an integral member of the East End Health Alliance, we look forward to reviewing the Southampton Hospital-Stony Brook transaction when it is brought forward to the Alliance.”
Mr. Kadenas said Southampton Hospital’s affiliation “currently has no impact on PBMC Health and does not affect any current collaboration between PBMC Health and [Stony Brook].”
Mr. Connor added, “Until Stony Brook and Southampton gain all the requisite approvals, ELIH will not be impacted.”
Health care reform brought with it a number of changes that affected hospitals nationwide throughout 2014, with quantifiable effects starting to become clear by the end of the first quarter.
We sat down with Andrew Mitchell, president and CEO of PBMC Health, to discuss the highs and the lows of the past year and the changes the community can expect come 2015. As expected, there was plenty to talk about. (more…)
While no one questioned the need for Peconic Bay Medical Center’s proposed hospital annex in the parking lot of Bob’s Discount Furniture on Route 58, the location drew some concerns at a public hearing before the Riverhead Town Planning Board Thursday night.
The plans call for construction of a 3,500 square foot building in the southeast corner of the Gateway Plaza, which is the name of the shopping center with Walmart and Bob’s Discount Furniture. PBMC also indicated it plans a possible future expansion of nearly 2,000 square feet in the future.
The goal is to eventually have non-emergency patients come to this site, and not to the emergency room, as currently happens, officials said.
“I don’t think anyone would disagree that hospital emergency rooms are being used as walk-in clinics by people that don’t have insurance,” said Kimberly Judd, the attorney for PBMC. The proposed annex would free up the emergency room for emergencies, she said.
“Our emergency room is at capacity and if you go there, particularly on the weekends, or in the evenings when any of the typical urgent care centers are closed, you can’t get in,” said PBMC board president Sherry Patterson.
“The beds are in the halls, parking is at a maximum; there’s just nowhere else to go. If you want your community hospital to continue to serve you the best way they can, this is something that we really truly need. It’s something the community really truly needs.”
Ron McManus, PBMC’s senior vice president, said the ER wait time can run as long as 6 to 9 hours because of the large volume of visitors — about 38,000 visits per year.
He said about 38 percent of the patients who go to emergency department can be seen at a lower level of care, which is what is being proposed by the annex.
Planning Board member Stan Carey said no one doubts the need for the facility, but he questioned the location.
“On my way here today at about 2 p.m., it took about 17 minutes to get past that location,” Mr. Carey said. “Traffic was backed up without an emergency facility there.”
If an ambulance were trying to take an emergency patient to the hospital’s main campus, he asked, “how would they get out of there? The cars were blocked up in the intersection. You couldn’t move. They were actually blocking the green light.”
Mr. McManus said that while there will be an ambulance on site at the annex, the frequency of times when an ambulance will need to transport a patient from the annex to the main campus is expected to be rare.
Patients who go to the emergency room with non-emergency situations will be seen there, but PBMC expects that eventually, people will learn to go to the annex with non-emergency cases.
Planning Board member Lyle Wells and resident Richard Luzzi also questioned the location.
“We have Kroemer Avenue that’s starting to grow and yet we have a dysfunctional light system,” Mr. Wells said.
“I don’t think that spot can support another building,” Mr. Luzzi said, adding that the number of cars going to that shopping center has been increasing.
“The design of that whole shopping center needs a lot of work,” he said.
Residents Ken LeBohner and Howard Young both voiced support for PBMC.
“It’s a wonderful care facility and I would trust them with my life, and have,” Mr. Young said.
As for the location, Ms. Patterson said hospital officials looked at every vacant building and property in town and chose this one because of its location near the Long Island Expressway.
“One of the things we didn’t want to do is locate it deep into the heart of Route 58, where it would be drawing traffic from the LIE into town,” she said.
In addition, anything east of Northville Turnpike can’t be considered because it would not be within the town sewer district, and hospital buildings, by law, are required to have separate heating, ventilation and air condition systems from other buildings, she said.
The hospital’s service area is about 400 square miles and ranges from east of the William Floyd Parkway, the entire North Fork, and the South Fork from Hampton Bays west, Mr. McManus said.
Ms. Judd said that if another retail store were proposed in this location, the traffic generation would be greater. Traffic counts show that the peak hours for retail is in the late afternoon and at night, whereas the peak for PBMC’s new Manorville campus — similar to what is proposed on Route 58 — is in the morning, she said.
The Planning Board closed the public hearing but did not rule on the application.
Q & A
Come January, patients will be able to receive medical attention at the Winslow Specialty Care Center, the latest addition to PBMC Health’s campus for ambulatory care in Manorville.
The facility, which will feature offices for general surgery, gastroenterology and spinal surgery, among others, was made possible in part to a $1 million bequest from Richard Winslow of Aquebogue, a longtime benefactor and active member of the Peconic Bay Medical Center Board of Directors. (more…)