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Lutheran Responds to Incorrect Information Published in the New York Times on 7/29/2011

Information presented at last week's Medicaid Redesign Team Brooklyn Work Group meeting, and published in the July 29, 2011 edition of The New York Times, regarding Lutheran Medical Center was incorrect. The Work Group cited Lutheran with an 8% loss to its bottom line in 2010. Thankfully, this is wrong. In fact, Lutheran Medical Center's 2010 audited financial statement shows a 1% positive operating bottom line (a $5.1 million surplus). Even more remarkable, this is the tenth year in a row where Lutheran Medical Center has posted a gain of approximately 1%, which is a significant accomplishment for any hospital in New York, let alone a safety net hospital in Brooklyn.

Click here to read the corrected New York Times article.
here to read a follow-up piece from the August 3 issue of Crain's Health Pulse.

The error was made when the State, calculating Lutheran's operating margin, mistakenly removed $40.7 million in operating grants to our Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC). This is significant because Lutheran Medical Center is unique in that it is the only hospital in Brooklyn partnered with an FQHC and, as such, receives federal, state and city operating grants. These grants have matching expenses, which were not removed from the calculation, resulting in an incorrect negative bottom line.

Lutheran Medical Center, despite being a safety net hospital, is not only financially viable, it has become a leader in the delivery of high quality, culturally competent medicine to New York City as a whole and is Brooklyn's busiest Level I Trauma Center. The Lutheran Family Health Centers (LFHC) network is the largest FQHC in the State with a visible presence in four boroughs of the City.

It is also important to note that Lutheran has an impressive history of successful expansion focused on providing primary care in underserved areas throughout the City. We have done this through the establishment of new sites and services as well as by absorbing those from other organizations that have closed. Most recently, this has included the absorption of Saint Vincent's Catholic Medical Center's Community Medicine Program saving services for 6,000 marginalized New Yorkers.

Lutheran, with its positive bottom line, will be a strong player in Brooklyn's health care solution. We think we can do this best by doing what we do best – providing high quality, low cost services in communities that have been or will be hit hard by hospital restructuring. We offer Brooklyn and the Medicaid Redesign Team Brooklyn Work Group win-win health care solutions that will result in a better and healthier Brooklyn.

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