The two of you are talking past each other. Your article mixed national problems (the closing of hospitals and emergency rooms, hospitals not knowing their true costs, etc) with an attack on Lenox Health Greenwich Village for not doing what we already know they can’t do. Neither they, nor any other free standing ER, or even a low level hospital attached ER, can replace a tertiary care hospital with a Level I trauma center like St. Vincent’s.
Your observations were accurate, but irrelevant for an ER, free standing or otherwise, that can’t make up for these national trends. Hellinger, on the other hand, is defending his ER for what it actually does, taking care of 95% of what they see. Nothing more, nothing less. He also points out that the West Village is better off with Lenox Health than with nothing at all, which would be the situation without them.
As far as the security guard who was shot, remember that the police officer recently shot in Harlem was taken to Harlem Hospital, with one of the best ERs in the city, and had the same lethal outcome. Free standing ERs, hospital affiliated ERs, and Level One trauma centers can only do so much, and sometimes it’s just not enough.
Alec Pruchnicki, M.D.