May 16, 2013

Vote set on AMC/Lake Placid closure

KEENE — The Adirondack Health Board of Trustees will vote May 30 on whether to convert the Lake Placid hospital's Emergency Department to an Immediate Care Center at its current location on Church Street in Lake Placid

A standing-room-only crowd attended a public forum at this week’s Keene Town Council meeting to learn details of the restructuring that may close Adirondack Medical Center/Lake Placid, including its Emergency Department.

The plan would consolidate the hospital’s wellness programs, along with a new urgent-care clinic, on the Uihlein Living Center nursing-home campus a half-mile away.

AMC/Lake Placid has just two inpatient hospital beds but also offers outpatient services, including sports medicine and rehabilitation, medical imaging and laboratory testing.


Cyndee McGuire, chief operating officer for Adirondack Health, said losses from the Lake Placid Emergency Department have topped nearly $500,000 annually.

The Adirondack Health nursing home — and its sister facility, Mercy Living Center in Tupper Lake — are currently operating in deficit.

To make room for the urgent-care clinic and other AMC/Lake Placid offerings, the number of beds at Uihlein would be cut from 156 to 80 or 60, officials have said.

And inpatient counts are dropping at Adirondack Medical Center in Saranac Lake amid the hospital’s wellness programs and moves to enhance outpatient care.

McGuire said their expansion of Adirondack Home and other programs have been “trying to keep people out of the hospital.”

The emphasis on wellness is working, she said.


But, when combined with loss of federal revenue from sequestration, aid reduction and Medicaid cuts, the financial picture is changing rapidly for the largest health-care consortium in the Adirondack Park.

“The revenue (picture) is very, very different,” McGuire said of the fiscal crisis at Adirondack Health.

“We have to be responsive. We can’t just keep doing business as usual.”

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