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Mount Sinai revives plan to close Beth Israel Hospital

BY THE VILLAGE SUN | Updated Sept. 15, 5:20 p.m.: The Village Sun recently reported on persistent fears that Mount Sinai Health System is dismantling its historic New York Eye and Ear Infirmary, with plans to scatter its services to other sites.

Now, another, even bigger concern is looming following a news report today that Mount Sinai plans to shutter its Beth Israel campus, at 16th Street and First Avenue, due to mounting financial losses associated with the Gramercy health complex.

According to an article in Crain’s, “[Mount Sinai] leadership plans to initially reduce the hospital’s inpatient bed count, then operate with fewer beds as the campus ‘gradually’ closes, Mount Sinai spokeswoman Lucia Lee confirmed on Wednesday. She added that Mount Sinai made the decision because of mounting financial pressures and ‘years of agonizing debate and analysis.'”

For now, the hospital and its emergency department remain open.

(The Village Sun is not linking to the article because Crain’s uses a paywall for its content.)

“Despite massive investments and upgrades, in the past ten years MSBI [Mount Sinai Beth Israel] has sustained losses in excess of $1 billion,” Lee told the outlet. “Nevertheless, losses have escalated and MSBI is on track to lose an additional $150 million this year. Maintaining the status quo is no longer an option.”

In June 2021, Councilmember Carlina Rivera and other local politicians and healthcare advocates hailed the decision to keep Beth Israel Hospital open, but said Mount Sinai needed to work with the community on renovating the Gramercy hospital to make sure it met local needs. (Photo by The Village Sun)

Mount Sinai will reportedly offer unionized staff roles with the same titles and pay at other locations in the system.

Crain’s got onto the story after “reviewing text messages suggesting the closure was imminent.”

Mount Sinai Beth Israel is a 696-bed teaching hospital that includes an emergency department, cardiology services, an emergency psychiatric program, and adult and pediatric surgery, plus inpatient and outpatient programs for New Yorkers with substance-use disorders.

Beth Israel Hospital’s inpatient census has dropped to just 20 percent, according to Mount Sinai.

According to the hospital statement, the Gramercy campus closure will not impact other Downtown Beth Israel sites, including a new $140 million behavioral health center at the former Rivington House, at Rivington and Forsyth Streets on the Lower East Side, and other outpatient facilities.

Mount Sinai added that it has made “tens of millions in investment in our extensive outpatient and ambulatory footprint…including our newly renovated Mount Sinai Union Square and Blavatnik Family Chelsea Medical Center facilities.”

In addition to Mount Sinai Union Square, Mount Sinai Brooklyn also will not be affected, according to the statement.

A replacement mini-hospital could conceivably be in the works at some point — but it’s not a sure thing right now.

“The health system will evaluate options for opening a smaller hospital Downtown and will engage with the community and elected officials on next steps,” the spokesperson told Crain’s.

A day after The Village Sun published this article, a Mount Sinai spokesperson provided the newspaper with the same statement it had given to Crain’s about its plan to gradually phase out Beth Israel Hospital.

“This decision comes after recent financial changes, including significant increases in labor and supply costs, and years of decreasing inpatient census as care continues to move to outpatient and non-hospital settings,” the statement additionally said, in part. “While we will never abandon the Downtown community, continuing to keep the MSBI 16th St. hospital open would jeopardize the mission of the Mount Sinai Health System.”

The health system previously planned to close the Gramercy hospital and build a smaller, 70-bed, mini-hospital on the same block as its New York Eye and Ear Infirmary. However, faced with strong community pushback, in turn, followed by the pandemic, which highlighted the potential need for hospital beds, the health system shelved that plan in June 2021.

Regarding the current news, the Mount Sinai spokesperson did not provide “a definitive timeline” for when the inpatient bed reduction at Beth Israel would begin or when the closure would be complete.

Indeed, the statement only said that Mount Sinai would close Beth Israel “in the coming years.”

“We will continue to engage with community leaders and elected officials on the next steps,” the health system said.

According to Crain’s, Mount Sinai “also did not provide details on how the closure will impact Beth Israel’s contentious pending merger with the NYEEI, or if the system will try to meet the stipulations State Health Commissioner Dr. James McDonald laid out for the project in June.”

Mount Sinai says the Beth Israel-NYEEI merger is a way to maintain the infirmary’s inpatient census and thus preserve its services and funding. But physicians, patients and advocates fear Mount Sinai wants to sell off the property to a developer, which, among other things, would leave patients having to scramble around to various locations for dispersed services that they currently receive all at one facility.

However, the health system’s statement noted, “Specialty eye and ear services will continue to be provided by NYEE and will not be impacted by any closure on the 16th Street campus.”


  1. Franny Franny September 15, 2023

    Beth Israel ran it to the ground like they ran the old Doctors hospital. This facilility is a wellness facility and they should take a couple of floors to help the homeless and mentally ill. Just look at the board of directors, CEO of this facility, where they say they are financially strapped, from their Hamptons and Greenwich, CT, homes. I call bs on them.

  2. Marilyn Stevenson Marilyn Stevenson September 15, 2023

    Beth Israel closing? OMG! Where is the guy who stole WestView News now that he would just screw it all up?

    • John John October 4, 2023

      Correct.  As a doctor who long ago worked at BI And Doctors Hospital, it is all real estate and money.  Nit a card for the needs of the city 

  3. evie evie September 15, 2023

    Big real estate, the bicycle lobby, the restaurant lobby, various elected officials, etc definitely envision NYC as the Bloomberg “luxury city” — where everyone is young and affluent (from basic suburban transplant affluent to international billionaires).

    No need for a nearby hospital if you are young and cool.

    Getting rid of healthcare facilities just helps force everyone out and make it easier to remake the neighborhood for the “preferred” demographic.

  4. Catharine Ragatoli Catharine Ragatoli September 15, 2023

    People can blame Medicare or Medicaid, but just go take a look at the 10 Union Square Beth Israel (Mount Sinai) complex with its 5-story atrium and grand piano to keep all the terminal people complacent.

    Look at the individual clinics … look at the new cardiology unit — moved and completely rehabbed in the last few years. I can’t say specifically but it sure looks like many of the surfaces are lined with marble.

    Look at the ceilings and the electronic surveillance devices. When you are there for a doctor’s appointment, you’re supposed to take a card (which has an electronic chip), so the ceiling trackers will know your whereabouts at any time. If you’re in the bathroom, they will know. This stuff is not cheap. So if the doctors want to blame it on something else, look at the money they’re spending on the place.

    • DuchessofNYC DuchessofNYC September 20, 2023

      wow, didn’t know they had surveillance cards now… how much does that cost??

  5. Allie Ryan Allie Ryan September 15, 2023

    What happened to the Hippocratic Oath?

    Would this be an opportunity for the City to step in and buy Beth Israel? Or a group of medical professionals?

    Curious what Rivera will say now since its been revealed she’s funded by developers. I wonder which of her developers is salivating at the prospect to buy Beth Israel.

  6. Kathryn Adisman Kathryn Adisman September 14, 2023

    The walk-in eye clinic was great when I went there in the past. But when I went for the first time since COVID I was told that they no longer take my insurance — Medicare with United Health supplement plan run by AARP. I think the problem is AARP. I’m not even an AARP member but when I had to go on Medicare, the only supplement plan offered by UA was under AARP. There was a 3-hour wait when I walked in, so needless to say, I didn’t want to pay @ $150 out of pocket for a diagnosis! I thought walk-in clinics are ipso facto free! Has anyone else had this problem of insurance dropped?

  7. Catharine Ragatoli Catharine Ragatoli September 14, 2023

    Of course it makes sense. Yes, Hoylman was Chair of CB2 at the time. Have you not seen the reports and video of how he conducted CB2 meetings, yanking the microphone from Yetta Kurland when she was being perhaps too persistent? Yetta had paused, not finished and the people in attendance told him to give her back the microphone.

    Westview News said (9/1/2012), “He endorsed the building of luxury condos on the site as well as testified in favor of the conversion of the former O’Toole building into a high end, profit driven, two 23 hour bed urgent care center. ” laid out the conflict of interest Hoylman (at the time he worked for the developers at Partnership for New York City) had with Bill Rudin.

    You aren’t the only one who remembers what really happened. Since then Hoylman acts as if developers are his only constituents.

  8. DuchessofNYC DuchessofNYC September 14, 2023

    My son was born at Beth Israel and got his eyelid sutured at the excellent Pediatric Emergency ward after wiping out on the ice at Stuy Town. Back in 1989, I went to the Eye & Ear Infirmary when my eye got blown up at a riot on East 4th Street. To say we don’t need a hospital in this community is crazy. Beth Israel is going broke because Medicaid and Medicare are not reimbursing hospitals for the full cost of services provided, and because they pay executives and technocrats too much $$, along with bean-counting computer systems like EPIC that cost billions of dollars. Where will babies be born in the East Village if this so-called “Gramercy campus” closes?

  9. Mary Reinholz Mary Reinholz September 14, 2023

    Sorry, but this is a scare headline about a flimsy story reported by another outlet with little pertinent detail. One could argue it’s a non-story, imho.

  10. Mary Reinholz Mary Reinholz September 14, 2023

    This “news” lacks dates and other facts on when such a shutdown of Beth Israel Hospital in Gramercy would become more than a revived “plan.”

    • The Village Sun The Village Sun Post author | September 14, 2023

      Yes, well the spokesperson did not provide those details to Crain’s and a spokesperson did not respond to The Village Sun’s request for comment. So yes, you are correct. All of that is clearly stated in the article.

    • Kim Kim September 14, 2023

      They should buy the old P.S. 64 and put a hospital there.

  11. Jess Jess September 14, 2023

    So people will need to go farther for medical care.

    Guess they’ll just hop on Citibike to do so since DOT/Transportation Alternatives has determined vehicle use is not OK.

    • urbanangelNYC urbanangelNYC September 14, 2023

      amen that TA- BS!

    • Joanne S. Joanne S. September 15, 2023


  12. Catharine Ragatoli Catharine Ragatoli September 14, 2023

    A little deja vu here?

    Remember when Brad Hoylman helped to sell out St. Vincents Hospital in the West Village? Condos were more important and not much has changed there.

    Remember when Carlina Rivera sold out just about everything? Samo-samo?

    • The Village Sun The Village Sun Post author | September 14, 2023

      Brad Hoylman was first elected to office as a politician in New York (state senator) in 2012. St. Vincent’s Hospital in Greenwich Village closed two years before that in 2010. So does your timeline make sense? Also, Hoylman was a chairperson of Community Board 2, which was strongly on record for saving St. Vincent’s from closure.

      • Barbara Ruether Barbara Ruether September 17, 2023

        In favor on the surface, but what was really true was that the real intent was not to fight to save St. Vincent;s. The facts later conifirm that clearly.

    • Flabbergasted Flabbergasted September 14, 2023

      No. Because it did not happen.

    • Carol Yost Yost Carol Yost Yost September 14, 2023

      Brad Hoylman-Sigal was Chairman of CB2 at the time, and did help to sell out the hospital, which closed in April of 2010. From 2000-2012, he was also Executive Vice President and General Counsel of the Partnership for New York City, which represents NYC’s business leadership and its largest private-sector employers; on the Board of Directors was and is Bill Rudin, purchaser and destroyer of St. Vincent’s Hospital; Rudin built a luxury condo complex on the site. Bill Rudin is Co-Chair and CEO of Rudin Management Company, Inc., one of the largest privately owned real estate companies in New York City. I spoke to Brad frequently at the time of St. Vincent’s closing and after, and he was obviously very wishy-washy and uncaring about what happened to the hospital. Brad has done quite a few good things as State Senator, but his heart is not in the right place for real estate and hospitals.

      • Barbara Ruether Barbara Ruether September 17, 2023

        I was aware and upset by Hoylman’s attitude about SVH at the time as well. Just like all the local pols, who failed to be concerned enough at the time, after many promises to do otherwise. Bloomberg wanted SVH gone and he got it, and ruined a thriving neighborhood, as you can see. The locals could have stopped it. But big money and political fear won out. And we still need that hospital and it is wrong to remove another health facility at this time as well.

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