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"Medicaid Waiver" Funds May Help Ailing Brooklyn Hospitals

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TWC News: "Medicaid Waiver" Funds May Help Ailing Brooklyn Hospitals
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There could be some hope for three troubled Brooklyn hospitals.

The federal government has agreed to re-invest $8 billion in Medicaid savings into New York state's healthcare system.

Money from the so-called "Medicaid waiver" will most likely go toward keeping Brookdale and Wyckoff Hospitals afloat, along with Interfaith Medical Center.

"The federal government cannot dictate which hospitals stay open, which hospitals close, but by giving the state this extra and unexpected $8 billion it will give the governor, health commissioner and others a whole lot of flexibility, and it should bode very well for the situation in Brooklyn, as well as in other parts of the state," said Sen. Charles Schumer.

The New York State Nurses Association says that Brooklyn hospitals are ill-equipped compared to their counterparts in other parts of the city and could use the help.

"The purpose of this waiver money is to ensure the patients in these struggling Brooklyn hospitals will have the appropriate number of beds available at the same time that we're trying to institute new primary care systems of care for people in these medically underserved communities," said Jill Furillo, executive director of the New York State Nurses Association.

Mayor Bill de Blasio issued a statement which said, in part, "This is our opportunity to focus on long-term solutions that deepen access to preventative, primary and emergency care."

The fate of Long Island College Hospital is still unclear.

SUNY Downstate says the waiver does not change its plans to give up operation of the facility.

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