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June 14, 2012 - Image 56

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2012-06-14

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The Sale Of Sinai Hospital And The "Oslo" Gamble



June 28,1991

Board to Review
Sinai's Future

Staff Writer

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June 14 2012

september , 1 993

Sinai Hospital's board of directors
are planning a trip to the bargaining
table in the coming month to talk
about keeping alive Detroit's 38-year-
old institution.
Discussions will follow release of a
report by the Hunter Group, a health-
care consulting team from Chicago.
The report, an assessment of the hos-
pital's management, operations, finan-
cial and strategic position, is expected
to be released Tuesday to the hospital's
trustees at a board meeting. The report
will include suggestions for survival of
Some board members have indi-
cated staff layoffs might be part of
the Hunter Group suggestions. At the
advice of board of trustee chairman
Merle Harris, board members have
declined to be interviewed since April.
Mr. Harris said no further informa-
tion will be released until the report is
reviewed by the board.
Sinai hired the Hunter Group
three months ago after the board in
February asked administrator Robert
Steinberg to resign.
Meanwhile, the board postponed
plans to launch a national executive
search for a hospital administrator
while Hunter Group completed its
analysis. Daily hospital operations
have been divided among administra-
tors, Mr. Harris and Chief Operating
Officer Larry Greene.
Rumblings over Sinai's fate are not
new at the hospital. Like other health
care institutions, it has been scram-
bling over the last decade to remain
Intensifying problems at U.S. hos-
pitals are skyrocketing costs and lower
reimbursement rates from private and
government insurance carriers.
Although the outlook has not been
favorable for independent institu-
tions, Sinai has been mapping out

its own survival plan. After longtime
administrator Irving Shapiro resigned
in October 1988, the hospital hired
Mr. Steinberg, an insurance executive
and former chairman of the board of
Under Mr. Steinberg's leadership,
Sinai focused on bringing back the
hospital's Jewish identity and possibly
merging with Henry Ford Health Care
Corp. and the Detroit Medical Center.
Each time, talks were called off.
DMC was the last merger candi-
date. Yet many Sinai allies feared a
DMC-Sinai merger might ultimately
close the hospital. Talks with DMC
ended after a group of Sinai doctors in
December pushed in-patient admis-
sions to save the hospital.
When doctors formed their coali-
tion, which has been meeting regu-
larly, Sinai has been losing about
$750,000 a month. Now, Mr. Harris
said, the hospital's third quarter net
loss was $300,000 — the best of the
last six quarters. Hospital officials
declined to release patient count tal-
The census increase provided offi-
cials with the impetus they needed to
launch a new blueprint: remain inde-
pendent with no mergers, no acquisi-
On Tuesday, consultants might let
the board know whether such a con-
cept is feasible.
"This improvement in financial
performance may be attributed to the
commitment of Sinai physicians to
the increased efficiency of operations
at the hospital," Mr. Harris said. "It is
our belief this improvement will con-
"Sinai remains committed to offer-
ing the same level of quality patient
care that it has for the past 38 years,"
Mr. Harris said.

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