Government stripped Soundview of funds
By Kate Pastor
Pedro Espada Jr.’s embattled Soundview Healthcare Network had already stopped paying its medical malpractice insurance before voluntarily closing its doors to patients earlier this month.
When the state Department of Health received a complaint on May 1 that Soundview lacked adequate supplies and insurance, according to DOH spokesman Peter Constantakes, it immediately began conducting a survey to determine the complaint’s accuracy.
As of press time, officials remained on site evaluating the now-closed facility.
The clinic remained open until May 7, but Soundview spokeswoman Rachel Fasciano said only doctors who had their own insurance continued to see patients after the center’s insurance lapsed.
She blamed a “cash flow” problem for making it impossible to pay malpractice insurance after the non-profit founded by former state Sen. Pedro Espada Jr. lost a federal grant and then received less state money than expected.
Soundview has been quietly protesting the loss in federal funding in court.
The suit, filed in January, claims that the Health Resources and Services Administration discriminated against Soundview because of its connection with its founder and CEO, who was found guilty on Monday of stealing $448,000 from Soundview.
Van Cortlandt Village resident Ezra Glaser and his firm Conde & Glaser, L.L.P. is representing Soundview in the federal case.
The complaint alleges that HRSA purposely tried to redirect what had for the last 33 years been Soundview grant money.
The loss to Soundview amounts to an estimated $15 million, including $1.5 million in medical malpractice coverage, according to court documents.
KeywordsKate Pastor, Pedro Espada Jr., Soundview Healthcare Network, Department of Health, Peter Constantakes, Rachel Fasciano, Ezra Glaser, Conde & Glaser, L.L.P., Gov. Andrew Cuomo.