Montefiore Health System plans to close its 121-bed Mount Vernon hospital and invest $41 million to build a 40,000-square-foot health care complex on Sanford Boulevard. The hospital is slated to close toward the end of 2020 afterwards any patients who need to be admitted for a hospital stay will be treated at other facilities. Nearby hospitals include Montefiore New Rochelle, Montefiore Medical Center’s Wakefield campus in the Bronx and New York–Presbyterian Lawrence Hospital in Bronxville. Services at the proposed new center will include primary care, mental health care, specialty care, pediatrics, chronic disease management, wound care and imaging services. Its emergency department will include equipment for cardiac diagnosis and monitoring as well as an X-ray machine and CT scanner.
Montefiore Health System acquired Mount Vernon in 2013 as they expanded also taking control of managing Cornwall, New Rochelle, Nyack, Newburgh, and White Plains among others. More than 100 rural hospitals across the nation have closed in recent years, leaving many poor communities bereft of access to even basic health-care services. Mount Vernon may be an urban city but the hospital cares for a predominantly low-income, publicly-insured patient population. “In the United States it is profitability—not the health-care needs of a community—that determines which hospitals stay open and flourish, and which wither and die” – The Nation. The question remains whether the new facility can fully service the needs of the Mount Vernon community. Mount Vernon is rapidly undergoing change politically and to its landscape. Housing developments are being erected and the resident population is steadily growing. When asked how she feels about moving into a community that is losing a hospital, Felicia Rincon responded that “I hope nothing happens to me”. The reality is that no one hopes anything happens to them, but eventually someone in Mount Vernon will need inpatient care and will have to be transported outside of their community for the care they need.
Montefiore Health System has expanded aggressively taking over management for many area hospitals and acquired Mount Vernon in 2013. “in the United States it is profitability—not the health-care needs of a community—that determines which hospitals stay open and flourish, and which wither and die”.
a hospital closure is not an act of nature. The fact that a hospital can close because it is unprofitable is only possible because we allow it, and in this respect, Hahnemann is far from unique.
More than 100 rural hospitals across the nation have closed in recent years, leaving many poor communities bereft of access to even basic health-care services.
Meanwhile, even as some hospitals close, others are seeing rising profits, or embarking on aggressive capital expansions and acquisitions, propelled by fierce competition.Fancy new towers rise as rural hospitals fall, yet both have a common cause.
The poverty of some of our hospitals and the rich fortunes of others are but two manifestations of a single pathology: a dysfunctional, profit-oriented system of hospital payment.