Earlier this week, a jury found former state Senator Pedro Espada Jr. guilty on four counts of theft from the health clinics he founded and ran. Now, the state is moving to close his Soundview Health Care Network for good.
On Thursday, the department ordered Soundview to turn over its operating certificate.
Soundview officials countered the clinics are being wrongly punished.
It was already struggling to stay open. As WNYC’s Fred Mogul reported:
The clinic has been unable to pay some staff members for several weeks. And although the focus of the center is pediatric and family care, the only patients walking through the doors are for podiatry, gastro-intestinal care and dental and psychiatric emergencies, according to Soundview spokeswoman Rachael Fasciani.
And even before the trial began, the health department had cut Medicaid payments to Soundview:
Close to three-fourths of the 20,000 patients who visit Soundview annually are on Medicaid. The state-federal program is managed by Albany, which has been trying to disqualify Soundview from receiving public funds since last August.