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Maimonides partners with New York Community Hospital on clinical care

Maimonides Medical Center and New York Community Hospital have signed a clinical collaboration agreement that strengthens the relationship between the two.

The south Brooklyn hospitals already have overlapping patient populations and medical staffs, making the arrangement a natural fit, said Kenneth Gibbs, president and chief executive of Maimonides. In addition, New York Community Hospital ended its affiliation with New York-Presbyterian in 2016, opening the door for a formal partnership between the local hospitals.

Barry Stern, president and chief executive of New York Community Hospital, served as chief financial officer of Maimonides from 1985 until 1999. Being a veteran of the hospital made the decision to collaborate an easy one, he said.

“I know the people, from the board down to the housekeepers, so I was very comfortable,” said Stern.

Stern said he hopes the partnership will lead to more coordination and referrals between the two and help boost the capacity and quality at New York Community Hospital, which he referred to as a “boutique” operation. Maimonides is a 711-bed hospital with a range of services and a network of primary care clinics, while New York Community Hospital is a 134-bed facility that concentrates on medical/surgical care.

As a first step, 20 to 30 members of Maimonides’ staff, including primary care physicians and specialists, will join New York Community Hospital’s staff.

“Physicians have to collaborate to create seamless care, and the best care is local and immediate,” said Gibbs. “Building this relationship gives both institutions the opportunity to provide that kind of service to the community. From my end, if you provide the right kind of care, the business issues should follow.”

Maimonides reported $871.3 million in revenue in the first three quarters of 2017, up 4.7% from the year-ago period, according to unaudited financial statements. But the hospital lost $14.2 million on operations during that period and recently announced layoffs to help shore up its finances. New York Community Hospital’s most recent financial statements were not available online. Its 2015 Form 990 showed that it lost $4.2 million that year on about $98 million in revenue, after bringing in nearly $4 million in operating profits the previous year.

Although other Brooklyn hospitals are consolidating, Gibbs said it’s too soon to think about a merger between Maimonides and Community Hospital. “We’re not going to get ahead of ourselves,” he said.

Stern also said a merger was not yet on the table, but added, “If we develop successful programs together, it would be a natural thing to look at.” – C.L.

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