Former Soundview Health Patients Scramble to Find Coverage

The New York State Department of Health is planning to drop Soundview Health Network from its Medicaid program. The move will leave many of the Bronx patients it serves looking for alternatives.

Elizabeth Benjamin, vice president of Health Initiatives at Community Health Advocates, an organization that helps New Yorkers find health care options, said the state should make sure it has plans to help Soundview's displaced Medicaid patients.

"I'm hoping that they will have contingency plans and work with Soundview to be able to reach out to Medicaid patients and try to help them find other alternative providers in their neighborhood," Benjamin said.

Soundview's five clinics are run by former state Senator Pedro Espada and his son. They face federal charges for embezzling from Soundview to support a lavish lifestyle. Espada has denied any wrongdoing and says Soundview is challenging the state's decision to drop it from Medicaid.

The health network said it serves 20,000 people. The Department of Health wasn't immediately available for comment.