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Maimonides breaks ground on new ER amid citywide decrease in emergency visits

PA Consulting healthcare experts Charlie Paterson and Chris Plance discuss Maimonides Medical Center and lower citywide ER levels.

Click here to read the full Crain’s New York Business article

The article notes that Maimonides Medical Center is forging ahead with a new, standalone emergency department in the Bay Ridge section of Brooklyn, even as hospitals citywide and nationally continue to see lower-than-average patient volume in their ERs.

The Borough Park–based hospital broke ground Friday on the $18.6 million emergency department, which will occupy 15,000 square feet in the old Victory Memorial Hospital building in Bay Ridge. It signed a 10-year sublease in 2019 to pay Northwell Health $609,000 a year for the space, which Northwell leases from a Borough Park real estate LLC. Northwell and Maimonides have a clinical affiliation and collaboration agreement. Before the pandemic, Maimonides had projected 16,000 patients visiting the new emergency department in its first year, translating into about $19.6 million in revenue and an operating profit of $3.8 million.

At Maimonides' Borough Park facility, 2.2 miles from where the new emergency department will stand, ER volume was tens of thousands of patients lower than budgeted in 2020, according to financial filings. It saw several hundred fewer net emergency visits than budgeted in the first quarter of the year.

Such declines have been practically universal, experts say. Emergency room visits were associated with 9% of medical claims in the state last year, down from about 10.3% in 2019, according to data compiled by the nonprofit Fair Health exclusively for Crain's.

Charlie Paterson said additional capacity is "never a bad thing," but Maimonides should re-evaluate its use of the space.

Revenues are expected to decline as payers push back on emergency department reimbursements, said Chris Plance.

Charlie adds: "If, as we expect, traditional fee-for-service ED volumes and reimbursement rates decline and value-based models proliferate, then Maimonides will have an opportunity to use the capacity flexibility to meet the needs of the community in different ways."

Contact the Americas healthcare team