Interfaith Hospital is the
largestprivate provider of in-patient psychiatriccare.
Right now, it is in bankruptcy, andteetering at the brink of closure. According tofilings with the Federal bankruptcy court,Interfaith will close its Emergency Room onSeptember 14
, and end inpatient programs onSeptember 15
A closure of Interfaith would be a grievous blowto psychiatric care in Brooklyn. It would place
Brooklyn’s psychiatric safety net dangerously
overcapacity. It would deny access topsychiatric and quality mental health carebased entirely on where a person lives, not thetype of care they need.This is a City responsibility.
Mayor Bloomberg’s silence on hospital closures is untenable.
Losing Interfaith wouldhave a devastating impact on psychiatric care in Brooklyn and Queens, and threatens to overwhelm City psychiatricservices at public hospitals already burdened by crowding. The State has a moral and legal obligation to consider and minimize the dire consequences of a closure that does not retain net psychiatric capacity and ensure thatpeople seeking psychiatric care in Brooklyn are not left on their own.
Interfaith Serves a Population In Particular Need of Psychiatric Care
The people who live in the area surrounding Interfaith and who use it as their community hospital (the “catchmentarea”) are particularly in need of psychiatric services, compared to those in other boroughs, or even other Brooklyn
neighborhoods.Brooklyn residents are more likely to use inpatient psychiatric services than the statewide average, 5.8 per 10,000versus 5.0 per 10,000.
At Interfaith in particular, those admitted to the hospital for injuries or physical illness areoften
suffering from psychiatric health issues requiring special care or admission to inpatient psychiatricservices. Sixty percent (60%) of all patients discharged from Interfaith hospital have a psychiatric condition as either the principal diagnosis, or as a comorbidity, compared to 27% across Brooklyn.
Interfaith is the Largest Voluntary Provider of Inpatient Psychiatric Care in Brooklyn
This closure would have serious consequences for the provision of psychiatric care in Brooklyn. Interfaith is the
Nina Bernstein, “Interfaith Medical Center Plans to Close,” NY Times, July 31, 2013.
New York State Department of Health Regulation §709.1(6), outlining that a determination of a public need in the case of “the
elimination of a service”
should be guided by “the extent to which need will be met adequately and the effect of the
reduction, elimination, or relocation of the service or facility on the ability of the low-income persons, racial and ethnic minorities, women, handicapped person, and other
underserved groups, and the elderly, to obtain needed health care.” See also, NY
Public Health Law § 2801-g, requiring the Commissioner to
consider and receive public input on “the anticipated impact of the general hospital's closure on access to health care serv
ices by members of thesurrounding community, including but not limited to recipients of medical assistance for needy persons, the uninsured, and underserved
populations, and options and proposals to ameliorate such anticipated impact.”
Medicaid Redesign Team Brooklyn Health Systems Redesign Working Group, “At th
e Brink of Transformation: Restructuring the Healthcare
Delivery System in Brooklyn,” November 2011. Available at