Brunswick Hospital Center Nursing Home Plan Approved

ALBANY, May 4, 2007 – New York State Health Commissioner Richard F. Daines, M.D., today approved a plan by the Brunswick Hospital Center that will improve long term care in accordance with recommendations of the New York State Commission on Health Care Facilities in the 21st Century, also known as the Berger Commission.

The hospital's plan provides for the closure of the Brunswick Nursing Home and relocation of residents. The relocation will take place with the least disruption possible to residents' lives, taking into consideration the residents' medical and nursing care, psychosocial needs, and physical limitations. The target date for relocation of the 60 residents of the Brunswick Nursing Home is June 30, 2007.

"By eliminating costly unused beds and strengthening quality and efficiency, the recommendations of the nonpartisan Berger Commission, which New York State adopted as law, will improve New York's health care system," said Daines. "I congratulate Brunswick Hospital Center on taking this first major step to restructure and improve long-term care services in Suffolk County."

The Berger Commission recommendations, which became legally binding on January 1, 2007, called for closing the Brunswick Nursing Home and adding the services of an Assisted Living Program in Suffolk County.

As Commissioner of Health, Dr. Daines is charged with implementing the Berger Commission recommendations, which restructure New York's health care system to eliminate costly excess capacity and duplication of services and better meet today's health needs.

The Berger report noted that unneeded beds have a heavy public cost. "Facilities have less chance of attracting the best doctors, buying and maintaining the latest equipment, and maintaining adequate nurse staffing when they must devote inordinate resources to preserving old, underused physical plants," the report noted. "With fewer resources to spend on equipment, salaries, and new technologies, the quality of care suffers."