NYS DOH sends cease-and-desist letter to Samaritan Hospital over Burdett Birth Center

NYS DOH sends cease-and-desist letter to Samaritan Hospital over Burdett Birth Center


TROY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The New York State Department of Health sent a cease-and-desist letter to Samaritan Hospital. First reported by The Times Union, the letter cited complaints the hospital was taking steps to close beds or services without approval.

The letter, obtained by NEWS10, said any violation could result in $2,000 in fines for each day beds or services are limited or closed.

A spokesperson for St. Peter’s Health Partners said they immediately responded to the letter and have not closed beds or reduced services. They said they would not be taking action prior to the Department of Health’s approval of the closure plan.

Samaritan Hospital has since submitted that plan, over six months after announcing their intent to close, citing financial problems brought on by the pandemic. That announcement caused an uproar from public health officials and residents in Rensselaer County, who said closing the county’s only maternity ward will create healthcare obstacles, particularly for the county’s underserved residents.

The Department of Health tells News10 the plan is under review. Until then, “the directive of the letter is still in effect.”

The letter from DOH also said St. Peter’s stopped recruiting new staff for the maternity ward. St. Peter’s Health Partners said staffing adjustments are happening in “nearly every hospital” across New York and the announced to close the Burdett Birth Center caused challenges, but maternity unit staffing for January will meet the expected patient needs.



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