This is certainly a valid observation. The dilemma at Mercy that led to a sudden and unexpected closure order from the State of New York in late August was a surprise only in its urgency as the facility had been the subject of anecdotal tales of woe for months and had been in and out of bankruptcy since the facility ceased to be a hospital two decades ago.
When the last bankruptcy was discharged three or four years ago, the owners were proactive in approaching the City about their plans to correct deficiencies and actually rebuild the facility on site. Visits to City Hall and introductions of new management teams seemed to suggest there was a chance at working out of years of problems. Since its a privately owned building and facility our best course was to hope that their optimism was valid.
As recently as 2009, back tax and water bills were paid. Then the visits and courtesy calls stopped and by this year the rumors were rife again of bouncing checks. Nonetheless as recently as this summer the Mercy owners suggested they could right the ship with an application for state funds.
In the end the state essentially said the current operators were not fit to continue and proposed dispersing the patients and closing the facility in a two week stretch.
It now appears there was a long stretch of poor maintenance and a lack of prudent fiscal management and now the facility is run under a receivership agreement with nearby Samaritan Medical Center. This provides stability in the short term while the future options for the Stone Street site are pondered.
Watertown Daily Times Mercy saga