Interfaith closing could have ripple effect on NYC hospitals

The closure of Interfaith Medical Center, a multi-site community teaching healthcare system in Brooklyn, N.Y., could have a cascading impact on other hospitals in the region, the Brooklyn Eagle reported.

The ripple effect on other hospitals in the region was the finding of a report recently released by Bill de Blasio, New York City's public advocate. According to the report, the closure of Interfaith would cause other hospitals in Brooklyn to reach 107 percent of capacity, according to the Eagle.

Interfaith, which is located in the Brooklyn community of Crown Heights, filed for bankruptcy in late 2012, and announced earlier this month it planned to shut down.

Hospital closures in major urban areas have sometimes created "deserts" of acute care in cities such as Detroit, St. Louis and even New York, some researchers have asserted. Along with the drain on inpatient capacity, de Blasio's report warns that closing Interfaith, which provides more than 100 psychiatric care beds, would also create a deficit of psychiatric care for the borough.

"There's no contingency here, and Brooklynites will pay the price if this shutdown goes forward," de Blasio, a New York City mayoralty candidate, said in a press release. His report recommended creating a health authority for the borough "to guide a master plan for the equitable reorganization and reform of Brooklyn hospitals and healthcare."

To learn more:
- read the Brooklyn Eagle article
- here's de Blasio's statement 
- check out the report (.pdf)