Press-Republican

Local News

May 4, 2013

Painful cut discussed in Lake Placid

(Continued)

LAKE PLACID —

Dr. John Broderick, chief medical officer for Adirondack Health, said they would staff the AMC Saranac Lake appropriately to manage the added demand.

“We get a room open pretty quickly,” he said of their response admission time.

“That’s because Lake Placid (emergency) is there to take care of them (first),” Furnia replied.

“If not for the Lake Placid emergency room, my brother would not be here; my mother would not be here.”

‘CONSTANT STRUGGLE’

Lake Placid EMTs said ER closure here would result in fewer transports for their crews, which would harm them financially.

Ambulance companies are not reimbursed for transport to urgent care facilities.

And what, they asked, about Whiteface emergency calls?

“Emergency Medical Service is the lynch pin of how we do this,” Dr. Broderick said, allowing that they have not worked out detailed logistics.

“We are trying to figure out how to put this puzzle together.”

Adirondack Health has not made the absolute decision to close the Lake Placid emergency room or relocate services.

But officials are faced with increasing cuts in federal funding and declining in-patient revenue as people access more outpatient-based care.

Dr. Howard Novick, a radiologist at Adirondack Health, stood up and explained how the health-care industry has changed.

“I don’t think you understand the decimation that has come into medical care,” he told those gathered.

“It’s a constant struggle for the hospital. I ask, as a community — you have to think of the context in which this is happening.”

‘NEED RECOVERY PLAN’

Asked after the meeting how much time they have before revenue loss threatens other services, Ralph said, “we have to take action this year.”

“We need to have a recovery plan,” Urban added. “We can’t let this slide continue.”

North Elba Supervisor Roby Politi said the concern isn’t only about a hospital in Lake Placid.

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