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Hospital Quality Urgent Care Is First Step In Restoring Vital Healthcare Services to Long Beach

Posted: Jul. 16, 2014

When the doors to the new South Nassau Urgent Care Center (SNUCC) at Long Beach opened at 9AM on Tuesday, July 1, it was the first time since the day before SuperStorm Sandy struck on October 28, 2012, that residents of Long Beach could access hospital-grade medical care on the campus of the former Long Beach Medical Center (LBMC).

“This is just the first step in building a patient-centered, high-quality healthcare delivery system that restores vital healthcare services to the residents of Long Beach and surrounding communities,” said Richard J. Murphy, president and CEO at South Nassau Communities Hospital, “and we look forward to continuing to work side-by-side with residents, civic groups and organizations, local officials and state elected officials towards achieving that goal.”

SNUCC provides hospital grade treatment and triage for a wide array of urgent medical conditions as well as ambulatory care with subspecialty backup supported through an integrated information technology system connecting the center to South Nassau’s main campus in Oceanside. “Unlike other urgent care providers in the area, our staff is comprised of board-certified emergency medicine physicians and emergency medicine trained nurses,” said Joshua Kugler, MD, chair of the Department of Emergency Medicine at South Nassau.

Located at 325 East Bay Drive (just west of the Komanoff Center for Geriatric and Rehabilitative Medicine), the $3.9 million SNUCC houses 10 private examination rooms, two procedure rooms and radiology imaging and laboratory suites. Care will be provided on a walk-in basis, with no appointments required, 9AM-9PM Monday-Friday, and 10AM-8PM Saturday, Sunday and holidays. Patients who are assessed as in need of further emergency care or hospitalization will be transported to South Nassau or the hospital of their choice via on-site ambulance services.

SNUCC combines with the Family Medicine Center at Long Beach (which was established in May by South Nassau), to provide residents of Long Beach and surrounding communities a continuum of hospital-grade urgent care and family medicine. Family Medicine Center at Long Beach (located at 761 Franklin Blvd.) is an extension of South Nassau’s Family Medicine Center located on Merrick Rd. in Oceanside. Residents of Long Beach in need of quality, compassionate family medicine and a family practice physician can call the office at (516) 544-2351 to schedule an appointment.

Upon approval from the state, South Nassau plans to transition SNUCC to a 911-emergency receiving facility, providing treatment for urgent as well as emergent medical conditions such as heart attacks, strokes, respiratory distress, head injuries, abdominal pain, dehydration, orthopedic injuries (fractures), and lacerations (cuts requiring sutures).

The opening of SNUCC comes just a little more than a year after South Nassau, LBMC and the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) entered into discussions focused on developing a new healthcare delivery system to restore medical services in Long Beach consistent with the needs of its residents. The discussions continued into 2014, and resulted in an Asset Purchase Agreement (APA) between South Nassau and LBMC that was submitted on Wednesday, February 19, when LBMC and the Komanoff Center for Geriatric and Rehabilitative Medicine each filed a petition for relief under chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code in the United States Court for the Eastern District of New York Bankruptcy Court. On May 12, 2014, the United States Court for the Eastern District of New York Bankruptcy Court approved South Nassau’s APA to acquire LBMC’s land, buildings, and equipment, with the exception of the Komanoff Center for Geriatric and Rehabilitative Medicine, which was acquired by another bidder at a separate closing.

Closing on the sale of LBMC’s assets to South Nassau is expected to occur in late July. This will pave the way for South Nassau to begin an intensive evaluation and planning process to revitalize the healthcare delivery system in Long Beach more than 18 months after LBMC was closed due to the significant debt it carried as well as the damage it suffered when Superstorm Sandy ravaged Long Island and the Tri-State Region on Monday, October 28, 2012.

Working with key constituencies, including community leaders, city officials, county officials and the NYSDOH, South Nassau will hold community forums to gather input from residents to develop the long-term plan. In addition to the meetings, South Nassau will conduct a complete physical assessment of the very substantial infrastructure damage to the LBMC facility and building systems (which is estimated to be approximately $220 million). This is essential to making the most efficient and effective use of approximately $139 million in FEMA funds, which is a reimbursement program in which South Nassau must use its own equity (and document appropriately as it is subject to both FEMA and OIG audits) and that FEMA reimbursement only covers 90% of the approved project cost. The other 10% may be covered by another funding source or thru the use of Hospital equity.

“South Nassau looks forward to a successful revitalization and development of healthcare services in Long Beach and surrounding South Shore communities,” said Mr. Murphy. “We deeply appreciate the efforts of U.S. Senator Charles Schumer, Governor Andrew Cuomo, New York Senators Dean Skelos and Kemp Hannon, Assemblyman Harvey Weisenberg, Legislator Denise Ford and Long Beach City Manager Jack Schnirman and the members of the Long Beach City Council for their roles in securing resources for the future health and wellness of Long Beach and surrounding south shore communities served by South Nassau.”