When it comes to cutting a hospital’s ER hours, a New York state assemblyman from the Hudson Valley has introduced legislation to require public input on the issue, and prohibit hospital executive bonuses in connection.
The legislation from Democratic Assemblyman James Skoufis stems from a request from Newburgh-based St. Luke’s Cornwall Hospital to decrease its emergency room hours to part time, 10 a.m. till 10 p.m. Skoufis' bill requires the state Department of Health to hold a public hearing in the hospital's community where a reduction in emergency room hours is being requested. He notes that while the Department of Health has and will continue to seek public input on the St. Luke's issue, there is currently nothing that requires DOH to hold a forum in the community that will be affected. Skoufis’ bill also would prohibit bonuses for hospital executives during these types of service cuts. After requesting a reduction in ER hours, St. Luke’s announced it was cutting its workforce by some 60 positions, some through attrition and about 30-35 employees, to save about $3.2 million.