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Most Long Beach Residents Are Satisfied With Available Medical Care, According To A New Poll By National Firm

Posted: Jan. 17, 2016

A survey of Long Beach residents has found 87 percent are satisfied with the medical care available to them in the area more than three years after the closing of the former Long Beach Medical Center following Superstorm Sandy.

In addition, fewer than 1 percent of all respondents cite the difficulty of getting to a medical facility as a major issue, the survey found.

Survey Results can be found HERE: South Nassau Long Beach Health Survey

More than 90 percent of residents typically go to a doctor’s office (69 percent), a health center (14 percent) or a walk-in clinic (10 percent) when they need medical care, the survey found Nearly 80 percent of respondents say they have a primary care physician while 21 percent do not. Forty-seven (47) percent of residents say their primary care physician was located on the barrier island, while 29 percent seek primary care off the island.

The telephone survey was conducted via both landlines and cell phones in early December with 300 adults on the barrier island. It was conducted at the request of South Nassau Communities Hospital as part of a study of the future medical needs of Long Beach residents. South Nassau acquired the assets of the former Long Beach Medical Center in October of 2014 after the Long Beach Medical Center declared bankruptcy.

The 5-minute telephone survey was conducted by a nationally recognized, independent polling firm, LJR Custom Strategies, which has offices in Washington, DC and New Orleans, LA. LJR has conducted more than 2,000 studies for a broad spectrum of health care, business, education, cultural, and political clients in almost every state in the country and around the world.

The telephone survey also found that nearly two-thirds of barrier island residents have a positive view of South Nassau Communities Hospital, which has served the Long Beach community for decades and has become an even more critical provider of services to barrier island residents following Sandy. Of the survey respondents, 66 percent say they have a “very positive” (32 percent) or “somewhat positive” (34 percent) opinion of the hospital with 18 percent voicing a “neutral” opinion. Only 8 percent have a negative opinion of South Nassau (“somewhat negative” at 5 percent and “very negative” at 3 percent).

“We are grateful that most residents of the barrier island have a positive view of South Nassau,” said Richard J. Murphy, South Nassau’s President & CEO. “We are working every day to win the continued trust and loyalty of Long Beach residents. These poll findings will help us further refine our plans to provide for the future medical needs of barrier island residents and visitors.”

South Nassau opened an Urgent Care Center on the site of the former Long Beach Medical Center in the summer of 2014 and upgraded it to a free-standing Emergency Department that started receiving ambulances via the 9-1-1 system as of Aug. 10th of 2015.

When asked if they had visited an emergency room or a walk-in clinic during the past year, 69 percent of the respondents to the telephone survey indicate they have not while 31 percent have made such a visit. Only 7 percent have been admitted to a hospital during the past year. When Long Beach Medical Center was open, some 60 percent of the respondents to the poll said they had gone there for some type of medical treatment.

When asked what type of services they would be most likely to use if they were to be built on the barrier island, the most popular type of service was a family medical practice, with 49 percent saying they would likely use it. The facility with the second highest likely rate of usage was a physical therapy facility (15 percent), followed by an ambulatory surgery center (10 percent).

The health survey was commissioned by South Nassau as part of a larger medical needs assessment study of the barrier island that is being conducted by Bruce C. Vladeck, the former head of the U.S. Health Care Financing Administration (now the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid) during the Clinton administration who later also served as the former President of the United Hospital Fund.

South Nassau commissioned the Vladeck study last year as part of its commitment to Long Beach to determine what medical services are most needed on the barrier island. As part of his study, Vladeck has interviewed key leaders from the civic, business & health care communities as well as federal, state and local elected officials. He also reviewed government data on where barrier island residents are receiving hospital care and for what diseases. The Vladeck study is expected to be issued publicly during the first quarter of 2016.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) awarded South Nassau $171 million in potential reimbursement funds to help restore medical services to the area. The hospital has said it intends to spend about $40 million on a medical arts pavilion in Long Beach that would be the permanent home of the Long Beach Emergency Department as well as house other services identified by the needs assessment that Vladeck is conducting.

South Nassau’s Oceanside Emergency Department is the only Level II Trauma Center on the South Shore of Nassau County.

Designated a Magnet® hospital by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), South Nassau® Communities Hospital is one of the region’s largest hospitals, with 455 beds, more than 900 physicians and 3,000 employees. The hospital is an acute-care, not-for-profit teaching hospital that provides state-of-the-art care in cardiac, oncologic, orthopedic, bariatric, pain management, mental health and emergency services. In addition to its extensive outpatient specialty centers, South Nassau provides emergency and elective angioplasty, and is the only hospital on Long Island with the Novalis Tx™ and Gamma Knife® radiosurgery technologies.

South Nassau is a designated Stroke Center by the New York State Department of Health and Comprehensive Community Cancer Center by the American College of Surgeons and is an accredited center of the Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Association and Quality Improvement Program. The hospital has been awarded the Joint Commission’s gold seal of approval as a Top Performer on Key Quality Measures, including heart attack, heart failure, pneumonia and surgical care; and disease-specific care for hip and joint replacement, wound care and end-stage renal disease. For more information, visit www.southnassau.org.