South Nassau Advised Against Reopening of Former Long Beach Emergency Department

South Nassau Communities Hospital, which now controls the former Long Beach Medical Center site, had explored obtaining waivers on some of the code issues.

Oceanside, NY, March 06, 2015 --( Reopening an Emergency Department in a shuttered Long Beach Medical Center building is not advisable due to outstanding code and structural deficiencies, according to an independent analysis by a leading architectural firm.

Citing significant damage to electrical, mechanical, environmental and life safety systems in the former Long Beach Medical Center’s West and Main buildings, the architects, Blitch Knevel, conclude that it would be “cost and time prohibitive” to attempt repairs required by federal and state regulators.

South Nassau Communities Hospital, which now controls the former Long Beach Medical Center site, had explored obtaining waivers on some of the code issues. However, the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS) declined to grant waivers for more than 80 code compliance failures, including ones involving wind and earthquake protection as well as upgrades needed to meet Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) mandates.

The analysis, conducted and prepared by Blitch Knevel Architects based in New Orleans, LA, found that the buildings are not code compliant in 88 categories covering structural, mechanical, electrical and plumbing areas, including:

New duct distribution systems
New exhaust systems
New hot water system
New water distribution system
New boilers and steam distribution system
Full building fires sprinkler upgrades
Relocation of fire pump
New emergency and normal power systems with service separation requirements
New lighting and power
New IT, nurse call, patient monitor and phone systems

- Seismic and lateral upgrades (for wind and earthquake protection) to comply with code revisions, including additional structure and strengthening of existing structural elements

- ADA upgrades and additional toilets/parking/ramping requirements.

Additional code compliance failures in the buildings include the lack of a centralized waste collection and storage area as well as a refrigerated storage facility for laboratory services.

Prior to its filing for bankruptcy in February 2014 and South Nassau’s acquisition of its assets in October 2014, the former LBMC was permitted to remain open under numerous code deficiencies (including those mentioned above) with permission from the state and CMS.

After SNCH closed on the assets acquisition of the shuttered medical center, the process of reinvestigating the reopening of its ED commenced. However, due to the time lapse between the 2013 proposal by the management of the former LBMC to reopen the ED and the transfer of control of its assets to SNCH, CMS informed the DOH and SNCH that it would not renew the compliance waivers and that the West and Main buildings needed to be renovated and rebuilt to all current federal and state codes and standards for healthcare.

“South Nassau is focused on improving emergency care services for the residents of Long Beach and surrounding communities,” said Richard J. Murphy, South Nassau’s president and CEO. “We are committed to establishing an off-campus, hospital based emergency services department in Long Beach by July 1 to benefit the needs of the residents and visitors to Long Beach and the other barrier island communities.”
South Nassau Communities Hospital
Damian J. Becker