Health Dept. closes Pedro’s clinic
- Last Updated: 7:47 AM, May 19, 2012
- Posted: 1:13 AM, May 19, 2012
Convicted felon Pedro Espada’s medical empire has virtually no doctors or patients — but everything is just fine!
Alejandro Espada, Pedro’s son, claimed yesterday the Soundview Healthcare Network was still open for business even as his staff spent yesterday transferring patients and medical records to other health-care providers.
“Our doors have not closed,” he told reporters in front of the facility, which was down to six doctors and four nurses.
“It makes no sense,” he said of a state edict to shut down Soundview. “Senator Espada is no longer involved in Soundview’s operations, so the court case has no bearing.”
His father faces up to 40 years in prison after being convicted on Monday of looting the medical center.
The state Department of Health has ordered Soundview to submit a plan of closure that includes making sure that its patients are getting care elsewhere.
It also has demanded Soundview surrender its state certificate of operation, in effect putting it out of business.
Five state health inspectors were at Soundview’s headquarters yesterday to make sure staffers were providing medical records to patients and their new doctors.
“The chief priority of the Department of Health is to ensure that each and every patient that utilized Soundview’s services has access to health-care services in the Bronx community,” said spokesman Bill Schwarz.
At least 11 health-care providers are accepting patients from Soundview, sources said.
Alejandro Espada made contradictory statements about Soundview’s fate.
“We cannot see patients right now,” Espada said.
But he later said a handful of services were still being offered, including podiatry, cardiology and dental.
Espada said Soundview has lost five-sixths of its revenues and his chief medical director, Dr. Rufus Sadler, admitted he hasn’t been paid “in a while.”
At one point, Espada suggested that Soundview would reorganize under another corporate name to get around the closure order.
“If we have to go to an outside agency, we will. I prefer not to elaborate,” he said.
But even the few patients who showed up yesterday said the jig was up at Soundview.
“I met Pedro Espada here last summer. I said I really liked his suit . . . It’s a shame what happened,” said Edwin Arroyo, 68, who picked up a prescription at the still-functioning pharmacy.
Sylvia Simmons, a patient who lives down the block from the White Plains Road clinic, said, “They act like they’re closing but they say they’re staying open.”
The remaining doctors work on Soundview’s second floor. But a burly security guard was turning patients away.
“Nobody is going upstairs today,” he said.