• Thu, Oct 18 2012

10 Months Later, Beyonce’s Birth Is Still Managing To Majorly Mess With Lenox Hill Mommies

BeyonceLenox Hill hospital is reportedly still snubbing non-celebrity families with Blue Ivy’s birth. The facility caused quite a ruckus earlier this year with claims that they prevented families from accessing their newborns in the wake of Beyonce‘s super tight birthing security. But even now, the presence of both she and Jay-Z is still being felt by new mothers and fathers some 10 months later. And it all comes down to that highly-coveted Beyonce birthing suite, which apparently is poaching nurses from the third-class mommies in less pricey rooms. Shake a fist in solidarity with those other 99 percent mommies and daddies!

New York Daily News reports that when you birth like Beyonce, you get one-on-one nursing care. Yet just two floors above, up to 18 newborns are cared for by only one nurse. Reassignments to Beyonce’s suite, and others like it, are reportedly causing nurses to abandon not so wealthy babies for the elite ones. Eileen Toback, chief of staff of the New York Professional Nurses Union, told the publication that nurses are only contractually allowed to watch eight babies by themselves. Given this violation, the nurses are on the verge of a strike — and it’s pretty easy to see why:

“It’s incredibly stressful,” one nurse who’s worked at Lenox Hill for decades told the Daily News. “You have too many babies. You can’t do all you need to do for them.”

A second nurse, at the hospital more than a dozen years, said her colleagues “have been saying they (hospital executives) don’t care about the 99%, they only care about the 1%.”

The amenities in these swanky suites definitely sound like they’re befit for the one percent — in New York City that is:

Upstairs, semi-private rooms house two patients each and are usually covered by insurance. Small private rooms on that floor that aren’t covered by insurance go for $712 per night and one larger one goes for $1,300.

Downstairs, it’s a different world. The smallest “deluxe private” room goes for $850, the larger “premium deluxe” goes for $1,400, the biggest one — the Beyoncé Room — goes for $1,750. And that can be expanded into two suites for a cool $2,400 per night.

In the Beyonce Room, a typical post-partum stay for three nights would run the average upscale patient $5,250, plus medical care costs.

By comparison, three nights at the Waldorf Astoria a few blocks down Park Avenue would run $3,300 for a one-bedroom suite with custom decorative bed throws and twice-daily maid service.

The Lenox Hill suites boast “boutique hotel-like” features, including fine bedding, flat-screen televisions and concierge service. But most important, they promise “close to the bedside” nursing, which staffers say has forced the hospital to reassign nurses from the general maternity ward to the high-priced suites.

Despite suggestions that Lenox Hill has been angling this whole Beyonce Room business for profits, the facility maintains that there is no “Beyonce Room.” Nor are nurses being yanked from newborns from considerably less means. Barbara Osborn, a Lenox Hill spokeswoman, maintains that the maternity unit is not being understaffed. Rather because of “the fluid nature of patient volume,” staff is moved around to accommodate different patients. She describes this practice as “standard procedure for all hospitals.”

Standard procedure for hospitals, maybe. But the only standard procedure that accompanies celebrity births is the massive profit to be had over debut baby photos, tabloid covers, and product endorsements. If Lenox Hill wanted to manipulate a little of that celebrity baby frenzy into some profits of their own, that makes them a business like no other. With business incentives. But a good business usually does well not to abandon core customers in courting new ones.

(photo: s_bukley / Shutterstock.com)

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