by John R. Fischer
, Senior Reporter | September 18, 2023
Having suffered over $1 billion in losses in the past decade and despite massive investments and upgrades, Mount Sinai Health System has announced that it will permanently close its Beth Israel campus in Manhattan in the next few years.
A spokesperson announced the news on Sept. 14, saying that the East 16th Street and First Avenue facility’s inpatient count has declined in past years and that the hospital is on track to lose another $150 million this year. Mount Sinai will review alternative options, including possibly replacing the campus with a smaller hospital in the area.
“While we will never abandon the downtown community, continuing to keep the MSBI 16th St. hospital open would jeopardize the mission of the Mount Sinai Health System,” said the spokesperson.
The hospital does not have an exact timeline for when the Beth Israel campus will close but will reduce its inpatient bed count over time.
Its financial hardships come in the face of rising labor and supply costs, which have become harder to afford as more individuals seek care in outpatient and nonhospital settings.
The closure will not affect other sites under Beth Israel’s hospital license, including Mount Sinai Brooklyn, Mount Sinai Behavioral Health Center, Mount Sinai Union Square, the Mount Sinai Behavior Health facility at Rivington, and the health system’s downtown outpatient facilities.
Unionized staff members will be offered the same title and salary at other Mount Sinai sites, said the spokesperson.
Previously, the healthcare provider said it would close the East 16th Street and First Avenue location
back in 2016 over four years but reversed this decision in 2021, in light of the city’s need for hospital beds during the COVID-19 pandemic. But as the pandemic subsides and relief packages passed by Congress expire, it has become harder to justify from a financial standpoint continuing operations at struggling facilities like this.
Earlier this summer, Mount Sinai opened the first cardiac catheterization lab
in Astoria, Queens, expediting the time in which hundreds of patients can access treatment for life-threatening emergencies, scheduled cardiac procedures, and certain elective procedures.
It also launched a mobile MR unit
at its Milton and Caroll Petrie Department of Urology in 2021 to expand access to prostate cancer screenings within New York City's black community.
One of the largest academic health systems in the New York metro area, Mount Sinai Health System is made up of over 43,000 employees at eight hospitals, over 400 outpatient practices, nearly 300 labs, its schools of nursing and medicine, and graduate education.
Mount Sinai Beth Israel is a teaching hospital with 799 beds. In addition to primary care, it offers specialty care for heart disease, cancer, neurology, orthopedics, gastrointestinal disease, chemical dependency, psychiatric disorders, pain management and palliative care, and HIV/AIDS research and treatment.