Brooklyn Hospital Doctors Seek Independence

Doctors from Long Island College Hospital, in Brooklyn, are trying to win independence from a parent company they say wants to shut down the maternity ward and sell off property to stay afloat. Both sides are appealing to the state Health Department to restructure the ailing institution. Dr. Arnold Licht says keeping open the maternity ward is necessary is key, even if it's causing the hospital to lose money.

LICHT: Women who have had a positive experience tend to have their families get their care there so we feel the elimination of those services would really serve as the death knell to not only the maternity services but also to the hospital at large.

REPORTER: Many obstetric practices in New York are closing or relocating, due to high medical malpractice costs and low insurance reimbursements. Licht says the Long Island College Hospital is being mis-managed by Continuum Health Partners, and is paying more than it should for insurance and other overhead costs.

Continuum, which also runs Beth Israel and St. Luke’s-Roosevelt in Manhattan, declined to comment. A spokesperson released a short statement calling the medical staff plan, quote, “wishful thinking” and its own proposal, quote, “financially realistic.”