Tag Archive | "Southampton Hospital"

East End Digest – September 11

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North Sea: Bocce Ball Finals

Councilman Chris Nuzzi, Trustee Brian Tymann and other members of the Southampton Bocce League played the final game of the season at North Sea Community Park on September 2. The Pollino Crushers were victorious over the Founders in the championship game.

New York State: Thiele Asks Paterson To Sign Gas Bill

Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele, Jr. released a copy of a letter last week that he sent to Governor David Paterson requesting the governor sign two pieces of legislation. The two bills aim to reduce gasoline prices – one allowing gasoline distributors and retailers to purchase and sell unbranded motor fuels and another that would prohibit the marketing technique known as “zone pricing.”

Thiele, a longtime sponsor of legislation to lower gasoline prices, writes, “Unfortunately, my Assembly District has been unfairly subjected to this scheme for far too long. Gasoline prices on the South Fork of Long Island are often higher than any other prices found in western areas of Long Island.”

Thiele has requested the State Attorney General’s Office commence an investigation into gasoline prices on eastern Long Island. The results of that investigation are pending.

“I hope the governor realizes that although prices have begun to decrease, zone pricing continues to be a problem plaguing residents and families who work and visit the East End. In addition, allowing distributors to sell unbranded fuels will result in lower prices at the pump.”

Southampton Town: Roof Replacement

Southampton officials informed residents today that work will soon begin to replace town hall’s aging roof, and to make repairs to the building’s cupola, chimney, flashing, gutters, and similar fixtures.

“The work is necessary to fix the leaks and other problems at town hall each time it rains,” said supervisor Linda Kabot. “We expect the project to begin in mid-September, and weather permitting, will be completed by the end of November.”

In order to conduct the necessary repairs, scaffolding will be erected around town hall and remain until the work is finished. Because of the presence of trucks, dumpsters, and other equipment, certain parts of the parking lot will be closed for limited amounts of time.

However, “there will be no interruption of town functions or service,” added the supervisor, “Town hall will remain open during regular business hours.”

According to the town’s department of general services, the Southampton Village Trustees and building inspector have been made aware of the project, and letters will be sent to town employees, as well as the surrounding community — including Southampton Elementary School on Pine Street.

During the planning phase, the town learned that certain components of the roof — such as the tar flashing and one of the three layers of shingles to be removed — contain a tiny amount of asbestos. Pursuant to federal and state law, the town must undertake an abatement project to remove these materials safely. To do so, the town has hired a New York State-licensed asbestos contractor, and retained an independent consultant to oversee the efforts. According to the consultant, the asbestos-containing material is considered “non-friable,” in that its fibers are bound or locked into the product. Because of this, they will not become airborne when removed. Nevertheless, air quality testing will be conducted regularly within town hall while the abatement work is underway.

At the request of the town, Southampton Village Trustees granted permission for work to begin each weekday morning at around 6 a.m., enabling the abatement work to commence each day in advance of town hall’s opening. It most cases, it will conclude by noon. A smaller, additional amount of work around higher traffic areas such as the entrances will be done on Saturdays when the building is closed. However, to minimize noise-related disturbances, the Saturday work will be performed by hand.

“We are making every effort to ensure the work on town hall is completed in a safe, clean, professional manner, and as quickly as possible,” concluded Kabot. “We appreciate the patience of the community and its visitors while these critical repairs take place.”

Suffolk County: Beach Cleanup

Chairman of the Suffolk County Legislature’s Environment, Planning, and Agriculture Committee Jay Schneiderman announced Suffolk County will once again participate in the 23rd Annual Beach Cleanup on Saturday, September 20. The Northeast Chapter of the American Littoral Society, a national, non-profit organization dedicated to the study and conservation of the marine and coastal environment, coordinates New York’s involvement in the annual September International Coastal Cleanup.

Each year the American Littoral Society enlists the aid of beach captains from local businesses, civic associations, scout troops, schools, SCUBA diving clubs, environmental organizations and individuals to organize volunteers to clean up shoreline debris. The cleanup usually takes about three hours and no special skills are needed. Volunteers pick up the debris and note the kind of debris on data cards, which are sent to the Ocean Conservancy. The information is then analyzed and used to evaluate existing pollution abatement programs and to develop new national and international policies to control debris in order to protect the health and safety of humans and marine life.

“With continuing efforts and dedication from volunteers, our local beaches will remain the source of beauty, pleasure and prosperity so many generations have enjoyed,” said Schneiderman.

Clean-ups are scheduled at several sites within Suffolk County. Contact site captain Jorie Latham at 324-1267 for information on the cleanup in East Hampton, at Louse and Gerard Points on September 20. In Southampton, a beach cleanup will be held at Sagg Main Beach on September 19. Call Jean Hartnagel at 765-6450 for information.

For a complete list of the participating sites in Suffolk County, as well as the name and phone number of the beach captains who will say where and when to meet, log on to www.alsnyc.org or call their HOTLINE 1-800-449-0790.

Last year, 9,339 volunteers cleaned and documented 142,243 pounds of debris along 677 miles of New York State’s shoreline.

New York State: Hurricane Assistance For Gustav

Governor David Paterson deployed an interagency team of New York State disaster management specialists last week to help assist Hurricane Gustav-battered parishes in Louisiana. The 24-person team began a two-week tour of duty and is staged in Hammond, Louisiana, to assist one of four battered parishes – New Orleans, Palquemines, St. Bernard or Jefferson – in recovery efforts. Team members are specialists in managing the various aspects of response and recovery including command, operations, planning and logistics.

The deployment of the disaster specialists is the latest assistance New York State is providing to hurricane victims in the Gulf Coast. The New York National Guard has sent helicopters and personnel as a part of the Gustav relief effort. Additionally, the New York City Fire Department is deploying its Incident Management Team (IMT) to aid Louisiana.

“Even when Gustav was on the horizon, New York State was prepared and ready to lend a helping hand to our fellow Americans in the Gulf Coast,” said Paterson. “Fortunately, the damage caused by this storm was not as severe as was initially feared; but there is still work to be done. New York State will always be prepared to answer the call to assist the residents here and across the country in their time of need.”

The State IMT, which departed Albany on Tuesday, September 2, came about because the state is a member of EMAC, which establishes a mutual partnership with the other 49 states, the District of Columbia and three territories to provide aid assistance in times of emergency.

As a part of the September Preparedness Month observance, New York State has unveiled its new “Aware/Prepare” website, www.nyprepare.gov — a one-stop shop for New Yorkers looking for safety information.

New York State: Mobile Home Rights

Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele, Jr. announced this week that a bill he co-sponsored relating to a right of first refusal for manufactured home owners has been signed by Governor David Paterson.

The bill would provide resident manufactured homeowners the opportunity to purchase their park by and through a homeowner’s association within 120 days from the time the park owner accepts an offer to purchase the park. In order to be eligible for a right of first refusal, a homeowner’s association would be required to notify the park owner of its existence and register such information with the county in which the manufactured home park is located. If such a contract were not executed within 120 days and the park owner thereafter offered the park at a price lower than the price specified in his notice to the association, then the association would have an additional 10 days to meet the price, terms and conditions.

“This legislation gives residents the chance to save their park by purchasing it, whenever the park owner seeks to sell the facility,” explained Thiele. “This will insure that existing parks can continue as an important source of affordable housing, especially for senior citizens.”

Thiele sponsored the legislation, which passed the assembly in the 2008 legislative session. The bill would allow homeowners to challenge rent increases that exceed the consumer price index and cannot be substantiated by the park owners. Under current law, manufactured home owners who rent lots have no legal remedy for unjustifiable increases.

“I am pleased this legislation passed the assembly,” said Thiele. “Unfortunately, the homeowner lacks bargaining power and pretty much renders them captive to whatever terms the park owner may choose to impose. This bill would provide the homeowner with a mechanism to legally challenge an increase. I can assure my constituents that I will reintroduce this bill in January when the 2009 legislative session commences.”

Thiele has been working with the chairman of the assembly housing committee, assemblyman Vito Lopez and Assemblyman Marc Alessi on the legislation. Thiele also participated in a public hearing in Riverhead last fall specifically on this bill.

The legislation would be subject to the creation of a local law by the county in which the manufactured home park is located.

Southampton Hospital: Mind Body Wellness

Southampton Hospital’s Mind Body Wellness Program has announced the next program in their series, the Medical Symptom Reduction Class. Classes will be on Wednesday afternoons from 3 to 5 p.m. beginning September 24 through November 12 and will take place at the Hospital’s “Bridge Room” located on the second floor.

The program teaches methods on learning to reduce physical and emotional problems caused by an illness. The course is taught by mind/body/wellness certified staff, trained at Harvard Medical College and is covered by most insurance companies. Early registration is required as a medical evaluation is required and space is limited. For more information, please call 726-8620



East End Digest August 7

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Southampton Hospital: Honored Employee

(Left to Right) Paul Davin, Vice President of Human Resources, Robert S. Chaloner, Anna Capozello, Sheryl Bahamondes, Robin Pfennig and Matthew Cicillini at a ceremony honoring Capozello as employee of the quarter at Southampton Hospital.

Capozello, a cashier/dietary worker in the Nutritional Services department at the hospital, has been chosen as the Hospital’s Employee of the Quarter for the second quarter of 2008. Her selection was celebrated at a brunch in her honor last week, where Hospital President and CEO Robert S. Chaloner presented her with a trophy and various gifts recognizing her achievement. 

Montauk: 77-Acre Preservation

Suffolk County Executive Steve Levy, East Hampton Town Supervisor Bill McGintee and The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation today announced they have reached an agreement in principle to purchase a 77-acre oceanfront parcel of land in Montauk. Negotiations for the agreement were spearheaded by The Nature Conservancy.

The $18 million acquisition of the property owned by television talk show personality Dick Cavett will be shared equally between the three parties, and adds to the vast amount of publicly held, environmentally significant lands in Montauk  – which includes the 125-acre Amsterdam Beach, the Sanctuary State Preserve (the former Andy Warhol Estate now owned by The Nature Conservancy), Camp Hero State Park, Montauk Point State Park and Theodore Roosevelt County Park.

“Partnerships such as these, among three levels of government, are exactly what are needed right now to ensure that vital tracts of open space and farmland in Suffolk County are protected,” said Levy. “The Cavett property was one of the first parcels to be included in my comprehensive inventory of environmentally sensitive lands. Through the hard work and diligence of The Nature Conservancy, and with the cooperation of the town and the state, we will ensure this unique property will remain as it is today.”

“We are thrilled that Mr. Cavett has accepted the offer,” said Nancy Kelley, executive director of The Nature Conservancy on Long Island, which negotiated the deal with Mr. Cavett.  “It is not an exaggeration to say that we have worked toward this outcome for 20 years.” 

 “We greatly appreciate the financial support from Suffolk County and New York State,” said McGintee.  East Hampton will fund its $6 million share of the acquisition from the Community Preservation Fund, a 2% transfer tax on real estate sales. 

“This is a key parcel for us to protect,” said McGintee, “One that demonstrates exceedingly well the importance of having the CPF.”  

Erik Kulleseid, deputy director for land acquisition of the State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, said the State has long recognized the importance the Cavett parcel. 

“The entire 265 acres of the Montauk Moorlands has been a state conservation priority for years, and we are pleased to support the Town and County in their efforts to protect this unique part of the State,” he said.  

The property consists of scenic bluffs along the Atlantic Ocean, as well as freshwater wetlands that support several state rare species. The deal is subject to execution of contracts and governmental approvals over the next few months.

Since Levy’s inauguration in 2004, Suffolk has preserved nearly 5,500 acres – which is six and one-half times the size of New York’s Central Park – including 49 farms. The program continues to aggressively pursue the purchase of environmentally significant parcels and farmlands.

Southampton: Strides For Life

The third annual Strides for Life fundraising race will take place at 9 a.m. on Sunday, August 24 in Southampton. The three-mile fun run/walk around Lake Agawam is a cornerstone event of the Lung Cancer Research Foundation (LCRF), which funds innovative lung cancer research grants at leading cancer centers across the country. Co-Anchor of FOX 5 news Rosanna Scotto is Honorary Chairman of the race and will be at the start and finish line to cheer participants on.  Following the race at 9:45 a.m., there will be a 50-yard dash for children, and a medal presentation ceremony.

One hundred percent of proceeds from last year’s Strides for Life went directly towards ten lung cancer research grants of the highest scientific merit. In two years, LCRF has awarded grants totaling over $700,000 to expedite research and possible cures for the disease that will claim an estimated 160,000 lives this year in the U.S. 

“The money raised from this year’s race will allow LCRF to fund additional scientific research grants at leading cancer centers across the country,” said Deborah Walsh, Executive Director of LCRF. “It is incredible how many people from the surrounding community and all over New York turn out to help give this deadly disease a stronger voice, and positively impact research funding,” she adds.

For more information about Strides for Life, including registration instructions, or to make an online pledge for lung cancer research, go to www.lungcancerresearchfoundation.org.

Suffolk Legislature: Public Safety For EH

The Suffolk Legislature this week voted to give East Hampton Town $1.1 million for public safety purposes—funds that the financially-pressed and, according to critics, financially inept town, would have otherwise lost because of its failure to file the proper paperwork.

“See we have a big heart!” declared William Lindsay, presiding officer of the legislature after the vote Tuesday in Hauppauge.

Not only East Hampton Town but the Town of Shelter Island, the Village of Westhampton Beach and several villages in western Suffolk that are not part of the Suffolk County Police District also received funds—all due to them but for which they, too, failed to properly apply, Deputy Suffolk County Executive Ben Zwirn told the legislature.

“Even though they didn’t meet the requirements, we want to give them the money,” said Mr. Zwirn speaking on behalf of the administration of County Executive Steve Levy.

The money derives from the quarter-percent of the sales tax earmarked for public safety.  Most of this money goes to the Suffolk County Police Department. Indeed representatives of towns (all five East End towns) and villages outside the police district have long complained that far too much of it goes to the county police. This alleged inequity was the subject of a recent lawsuit, later dropped, brought by the East End representatives on the legislature joined by several municipalities outside the police district.

However, some of the sales tax money—even if not what the towns and villages think is enough—does go to the towns and villages outside the police district.

But they must properly apply for the funds.

Legislator Jay Schneiderman of Montauk, whose district includes East Hampton Town, told his fellow legislators that the failure of East Hampton Town and the other municipalities to do that was “embarrassing.” He and Legislator Edward Romaine of Center Moriches, the other legislator who represents the East End, were lead plaintiffs in the lawsuit brought earlier this year.

Zwirn detailed to the legislature the amounts of money involved. East Hampton Town would get the lion’s share: $533,767 in monies due to it in 2006 and $586,217 for monies due for last year. He said that because the town failed to make proper application for the 2006 dollars, the 2007 funds were “held up.”

The Town of Shelter Island is to receive $95,561 and the Village of Westhampton Beach $66,501.        

Zwirn said that the “money was isolated” in the county’s books by its financial officers — so the county knew how much the towns and villages were due, even though they did not do the proper paperwork to get the funds.

Schneiderman asked whether there was a “legal requirement” for the municipalities to now receive the dollars.

Zwirn said there was no such requirement, prompting Mr. Lindsay to make his comment about having “a heart.”

The resolution to provide the otherwise lost dollars was sent to the legislature under a “certificate of necessity” signed by Levy, which allowed for immediate action by the panel on the measure, and was approved by a vote of 18-to-0.

-Karl Grossman




Three East End Hospitals Form and Alliance

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The three East End hospitals last week rolled out a new agreement they have forged together crafted to bring a broader and more balanced menu of services to local residents, give them a stronger bargaining position and find economies that will make the three institutions more financially stable.

The East End Health Alliance comes about ten years after the three hospitals had formed the Peconic Health Corporation, an ill-fated agreement that, some say, was restrictive and hamstrung the institutions.

“It’s too cumbersome a structure if every decision has to be approved by everyone in the room,” said Southampton Hospital President and CEO Robert Chaloner. “Nothing gets done.”

The organization of the earlier agreement required that each of the three hospitals had to agree unanimously on a proposal in order for it to move forward, said Chaloner. And that is the biggest difference between the two organizations. The Alliance includes a board made up of 21 members, seven from each hospital, and a simple majority will get a proposal approved. A super-majority — a much higher percentage of aye votes — would still be required for certain major decisions, such as creating debt.

As designed, the board will have authority over long term and strategic planning, and will be responsible for approving each hospital’s budget. In addition they would implement and approve programs and approve affiliations and partnerships, such as one being developed with Stony Brook University Hospital.

Individual hospitals would still be responsible for day-to-day management of services and operations, fundraising and developing the budgets that would be approved by the Alliance board.

“I lived through the first alliance, and I think there is a whole new spirit,” said Southampton Hospital Vice Chairman Richard Hiegel at signing ceremonies for the new alliance at Martha Clara Vineyards in Riverhead on Friday. Hiegel said he believed the alliance would put an end to what he called “destructive competition,” and would allocate services between the three “in a reasonable way.”

“The board and staff are committed,” he promised. “There is no doubt we will succeed — we must succeed.”

The new alliance is largely the result of recommendations from the Berger Commission, a state constituted panel that was formed to look at health care in New York for the 21st century. The panel, which released its recommendations early last year, was charged with studying the needs and services of hospitals and nursing homes across the state to ensure they were appropriate to meeting community needs, as well as providing affordable and meaningful care with economies that would guarantee fiscal stability.

In some cases, the Berger Commission actually recommended the shutting of some facilities, said Chaloner. In the case of the East End hospitals, they were urged to work together.

“When we were told by the commission to work with fellow hospitals, I said ‘Sheeeesh, here we go again’,” said Jesse R. Goodale III, chairman of the Peconic Bay Medical Center (formerly Central Suffolk Hospital).

Goodale, who will serve as the Alliance’s second vice chair, said his own hospital was undergoing a major construction project at the time.

“I said ‘Keep your eye on the prize, and that’s the construction’,” Goodale related during Friday’s ceremony.

But Goodale was enthusiastic about the new arrangement.

“The construction is still the major prize, but it’s not the only prize,” he told the crowd. “The new goal is when I can say to someone, ‘Why don’t you visit our hospital,’ and take them to Southampton; or say ‘Why don’t you see what we’re doing,’ and bring them to Eastern Long Island.”

Southampton Hospital itself is confronting demands and pressures on its facility, and will now be subject to review by the East End Health Alliance for any major changes. It has explored possible sites for expansion or building a new facility, and while property owned by the Elks Lodge of Southampton on CR 39 has been targeted, Chaloner said they are still considering other options.

“We need to do something with the facility, that is accepted,” said Chaloner. “What goes into it is something we will have extensive discussions about. Also, what is the financial reality? And what is a good site?”

In all, the alliance will serve a population of about 300,000 people across eastern Long Island’s 300 square miles, and provide care to approximately 16,000 inpatients and 60,000 emergency room patients. And while each of the hospitals continue to have a mandate to offer services such as emergency rooms, operating rooms and a minimum number of in-patient beds, each hospital will also be developing their own specialties. Peconic Bay Medical Center will specialize in physical rehabilitation and Eastern Long Island Hospital in Greenport will expand their already significant psychological services. Southampton will continue to grow its women’s services and will begin phase two of their obstetrics and gynecology expansion, which will be regionally dominant.

“People ask why, if we’re going to move, would we still do this,” said Chaloner. “Any move is still five or six years away and a lot of babies are going to be born between now and then.”

 “All these services require great expense,” said Chaloner. And the creation of the Alliance brings with it a $14 million award from the state to further develop the specialties.

Part of the challenge all three hospitals face is the migration of patients to hospital and health facilities further west on Long Island and into New York City.

“Our agenda is to focus on needs and opportunities across the East End,” said Chaloner, who will serve as a board member for the new alliance. “Over the next two years we will do a fundamental analysis.” In particular, he said, they want to pursue the patients who are leaving for cancer and cardiac care.

 “When we went through the Berger process, we were told that we had created a model,” said State Senator Ken Lavalle at Friday’s ceremony, who acknowledged the process had been a difficult one. “Today we are bearing the fruits of tough decision making and putting in place a health care delivery system that will be the envy of the rest of the state.”

Oxford Health Negotiating With Local Hospitals

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East End residents who are subscribers to Oxford Health Insurance may soon find themselves looking for other hospitals. All three local hospitals, including Southampton, Peconic Bay in Riverhead and Eastern Long Island in Greenport, are currently negotiating with Oxford and its parent company, United Health Care, to maintain contracts for insurance. But their deadline is fast approaching. If an agreement is not reached by June 6, the hospitals will be “out of network” beginning June 7 for Oxford subscribers.

At issue is the rate in which the hospitals are being reimbursed for the care they provide.

“The three hospitals have been negotiating in good faith with the critical issue being fair and equitable reimbursements in order to provide for the essential healthcare of our communities,” said a release issued this week from the hospitals. “Our hospitals are being reimbursed at a rate that is far below other hospitals on Long Island even though our costs are comparable and employers are paying comparable amounts for health insurance premiums of their employees.”

Southampton Hospital just resolved a similar fight with Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield last month, narrowly avoiding a deadline that would have sent their subscribers looking for other hospitals.

“We are optimistic this will work out,” said Mary McElrath-Jones, spokesperson for Oxford/United Health Care.

“What we are offering them is in line with market trends,” said McElrath-Jones.

“We disagree,” said Paul Connor, President and CEO of Eastern Long Island Hospital who spokesman for the three East End facilities. “Obviously this is where we’re at.”

A specific comparison of rates could not be made, said Connor, since the rates themselves are protected by confidentiality. He did say that his hospital was told by the insurance company that they were paid at a rate below the Long Island average.

If no agreement is reached by the deadline, Oxford and United Health Care subscribers here will be faced with several options. Patients who are currently being treated for a specific condition at Southampton Hospital will continue to be treated and covered by the insurance company. But those who have scheduled a procedure after June 6, may need to make other arrangements as the treatment will not be considered in network. McElrath-Jones said, however, that patients may be entitled to transitional care and should contact the insurance company. In all cases, however, if a patient is admitted as an emergency, he or she will be treated and covered by the insurance company.


Empire Warns Patients They May Have to Look Elsewhere

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With hundreds — if not thousands — of clients along the South Fork, Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield is currently negotiating its contract with Southampton Hospital. And while representatives from the hospital and the insurance company are both optimistic about a successful settlement, the company this week notified many of its clients they may have to find another hospital.

In a letter mailed to its subscribers this week, Empire said that the current contract with the hospital expired on March 31. State law and previous negotiations are allowing the contract to continue until the new contract has been successfully negotiated, or until May 31, which is when the extended contract period is slated to end. If that is the case, subscribers would need to receive their non-emergency hospital care at another facility, such as Peconic Bay Medical Center in Riverhead, Brookhaven Memorial Hospital or Stony Brook University Hospital.

“We certainly hope that a reasonable agreement on your behalf would be completed before May 31st,” read a portion of the letter. “Based on history, despite occasional news media coverage, actual terminations of hospital contracts rarely occur and have always been resolved within a relatively short period of time when they do terminate.”

In addition to many individuals and private employees, many municipal employees are also affected by the contract. Empire covers the Town of Southampton, and the Village of North Haven. In addition, the Sag Harbor Police Department is expected to go with Empire beginning June 1, and the Town of East Hampton has been debating leaving their current insurance carrier and switching to Empire.

At issue in the negotiations are a number of items, said Lisa Greiner, a spokesperson for Empire, including annual increases to cover hospital operating costs and costs of services.

“We are definitely committed to continuing our relationship with Southampton Hospital,” said Greiner, who added they are negotiating vigorously for the benefit of their customers.

Officials at Southampton Hospital are also optimistic that negotiations will be completed successfully, and spokesperson Marsha Kenny said that it was “business as usual.”

“They have been in discussions for some time,” she said. “I urge people not to get nervous. They are still covered, not to worry.”

“We are confident that we will come to a new contract,” said Kenny.

At present, despite the fact the original contract is expired, the full force of that contract will remain through May 31, or until a new contract is settled.

After that time, if there is no new contract, Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield customers may have to make some adjustments.

Under all scenarios, emergency coverage will be included at Southampton Hospital — or any hospital — for Empire customers. And if a patient is admitted under emergency status, he or she will be covered for their stay.

And if an Empire patient in Southampton Hospital prior to June 1 is still there after that date, transitional care will be provided for an additional 30 days, ending on June 30, providing the hospital agrees to provide care under the same terms as the recent contract.

After June 1, however, a patient seeking an elective procedure would need to go to another hospital if they expect to be covered in the Empire plan.

“You will no longer be in the network if it’s not an emergency,” said Karl Washwick, whose agency handles Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield.

Another issue would be the primary care or referring physician, who may only have rights at Southampton Hospital. The patient could choose another primary care physician, said Greiner, or if the patient wanted to continue to work with the doctor, he or she could be treated at the hospital, but would not enjoy the network rate.

“If a provider doesn’t have privileges at another hospital, he would get information on how to get credentialed at another facility,” said Greiner.

Despite the threat of severing the relationship, Washwick said he saw the negotiations as mere saber rattling.

“It’s never going to happen,” said Washwick. “Blue Cross is too big, and the fight is always about money.”