Petition to stop HUMC Sale

NJ Appleseed Director starts online petition to stop HUMC Sale

The Director of the NJ Appleseed Public Interest Law Center has started an online petition at Change.org – to stop the sale of the Hoboken University Medical Center.

OVERVIEW

We, the undersigned organizations and individuals, urge the Governor and the Department of Health and Senior Services to reject the Certificate of Need Application filed by Hoboken Municipal Hospital Authority to transfer the license to operate Hoboken University Medical Center to the for-profit entity whose owners currently operate Bayonne Medical Center. It is the government’s obligation to ensure that the Authority’s public assets are protected for continued community use and that the public’s interest is adequately represented, promoted and served by this transaction.

Based on the track record of Bayonne Medical Center including termination of nearly all insurance contracts, dramatic increases in the cost of in-patient care, and some of the lowest quality of care scores in the county, we believe that the process undertaken by the Authority has not provided the Hoboken community and stakeholders with the best option available. We are specifically concerned that the transaction is likely to have a negative impact on the quality, affordability and accessibility of health care services in Hoboken and Hudson County generally.

  • Shifted the costs of indigent care (uninsured and low income) to other local hospitals such as Jersey City Medical Center, Meadowlands Hospital, and Christ Hospital by decreasing Indigent and Charity Care admissions by 27% in 2008 and 2009;
  • Complied unevenly, at best, with its current Certification of Need requirements; and
  • Created a hostile work environment that has included the lock-out of all employees in the summer of 2009.

Petition to stop sale of HUMC

Indeed, pursuant to a recent national survey (Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems) only 38% of Bayonne patients stated that they would “definitely recommend” the Hospital to others.

On the foregoing track record, we believe that the owners of Bayonne Medical Center do not deserve and have not “earned” the right to operate a second New Jersey hospital.

This is a local decision that will have statewide impact. The prospective purchaser of Hoboken University Medical Center must hold a regional perspective, be willing to coordinate with other neighboring hospitals in Hudson County, and adopt policies and practices that expand access, reduce costs, and keep the hospital accountable to the community. The operators of Bayonne do not meet this standard and we urge the Hoboken Municipal Hospital Authority to actively seek operators who have these goals in mind.

Please support this petition and have your voice heard.

Our concerns are based on the following:

Despite the fact that the Hoboken Municipal Hospital Authority is a public body subject to open meetings and records laws, the sales process has not been transparent. At minimum, the Authority must identify all organizations that were interested in purchasing and operating the hospital, and must disclose the specifics of their proposals for public review; and

Despite the fact that the proposed purchaser operates a hospital in Hudson County, the track record of such entity with respect to quality of service, cost, and patient access has apparently not been considered. It is our understanding based on information issued by the Department of Health and Senior Services and other public sources that the operator of Bayonne has:

  • Decreased in-patient access and services by 40-48% from 2008-2010 for patients insured by one insurer by terminating its insurance contracts with that entity;
  • Decreased out-patient access and services by 68-74% from 2008-2010 for patients insured by one insurer 2008-2010 by terminating its insurance contracts with that entity;
  • Decreased total hospital admissions by 21% over 2008 and 2009 with strong evidence that this reduction has increased in 2010 and 2011;
  • Increased daily rates to more than double that of the state average (from $13,000 to $29,000);
  • Delivered services whose quality has suffered due to staffing cuts and other cost cutting measures notwithstanding the efforts of BMC employees to provide safe and effective care for patients (for example, according to the 2010 NJ Hospital Performance Report, BMC is last in the State in “Surgical Care Improvement,” and in the bottom 10% of NJ hospitals in “Pneumonia Care.”);
  • Shifted the costs of indigent care (uninsured and low income) to other local hospitals such as Jersey City Medical Center, Meadowlands Hospital, and Christ Hospital by decreasing Indigent and Charity Care admissions by 27% in 2008 and 2009;
  • Complied unevenly, at best, with its current Certification of Need requirements; and
  • Created a hostile work environment that has included the lock-out of all employees in the summer of 2009.

Indeed, pursuant to a recent national survey (Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems) only 38% of Bayonne patients stated that they would “definitely recommend” the Hospital to others.

On the foregoing track record, we believe that the owners of Bayonne Medical Center do not deserve and have not “earned” the right to operate a second New Jersey hospital.

This is a local decision that will have statewide impact. The prospective purchaser of Hoboken University Medical Center must hold a regional perspective, be willing to coordinate with other neighboring hospitals in Hudson County, and adopt policies and practices that expand access, reduce costs, and keep the hospital accountable to the community. The operators of Bayonne do not meet this standard and we urge the Hoboken Municipal Hospital Authority to actively seek operators who have these goals in mind.

Petition Letter

“Stop the sale of Hoboken’s hospital to a for-profit with a questionable track record!”

Greetings,

The sale of Hoboken’s hospital is underway, and the universe of stakeholders–patients, MDs, nurses, employees, payers, unions, nearby hospitals, and local businesses–are asking for the support and influence of the Governor’s office and the Department of Health and Senior Services to reject Hoboken Municipal Hospital Authority’s CON application to sell Hoboken UMC to a group of investors currently operating Bayonne Medical Center. We are asking for this intervention in this decision because we believe the propose sale is “likely to result in the deteriation in the quality, availability or accessability of health services” in Hoboken and other Hudson County communitties. Furthermore, we question whether the selection process was fair, unbiased, and transparent in accordance with principles that should govern the sale of a public hospital. residents are not adversley impacted and the transaction preserves the quality, affordability and access to health care services.

This decision will impact the citizens and tax payers in Hoboken and the surrounding communities that rely on HUMC for their health care, jobs and commerce. The decision will have a huge impact on the Hudson County’s health system and also have a sizable impact on NJ’s state budget given the explosive incremental cost associated with the Bayonne business model.

The stakes are high and the time to intervene is now. Please support us on this important matter.

Renee Steinhagen
Executive Director
NJ Appleseed

20 Responses

  1. HearditallB4 says:

    Finally someone has had the good sense to get to the bottom of this non-transparent deal! Since it is a publicly owned facility, the speed and silence in which this sale was conducted leaves many unanswered questions in the minds of the Hoboken residents. While Hoboken needs a hospital, I’ve heard enough about this from many different sources that this is NOT the best deal for the facility. I am very concerned about this and am very glad that Hoboken 411 has kept the residents informed of the latest developments of the sale.

  2. hoboken411 says:

    Because of the financial scale of this so-called “transaction,” I’d expect little involvement from any gov’t entity. Too many pockets getting padded in the process. This could be yet another FBI thing-a-ma-bob. Just sayin’

  3. HearditallB4 says:

    IA! I don’t expect intervention from any government entities either but if it is as you say it isn’t a bad thing to look into. It may be because proper procedure was not followed that the sale could be held up, not sure but it doesn’t hurt to question the legalities involved. Once again your observations are on target, IMPO.

  4. Hobbes says:

    What’s up with the stripper cop in the picture? She’s unrelated to the hospital.

    You need to use a stripper nurse next time… Or, maybe not use strippers at all in your images.

    Just a thought.

    • 4th Ward Guardian says:

      Stripper cop might be the only way to get the average taxpayer’s attention to how they’re being fleeced. Pictures of Zimmer’s hospital board ain’t gettin’ it done. If Cappiello, Russo or Roberts ever tried to pulled a job like this there people would be in the streets screaming bloody murder. Think about it: cronies appointed by Zimmer to a closed board that negotiates with only ONE bidder before closing a smoke-and-mirrors real estate deal that will lead to St. Mary Condos on The Park in 7 years! If a stripper cop gets more people to notice what’s going on that’s fine with me.[quote comment=”208099″]What’s up with the stripper cop in the picture? She’s unrelated to the hospital.You need to use a stripper nurse next time… Or, maybe not use strippers at all in your images.Just a thought.[/quote]

      • whineanddineinhob says:

        The city council can’t even get anyone on this board to tell them what’s going on. And to think that the zimmer team of Tamarazzo (who vowed transparency to be on the board) and Kurta (another loser) are in the deal makings for this huge sum of money is frightening. Hopefully negotiations can be stalled or cancelled by this petition until this administration is out of office. If any of you think for one minute that this sale will result in a tax relief for you by this administration, you will once again be duped. Seems Zimmer desperately needs this money for something not being disclosed.[quote comment=”208104″]Stripper cop might be the only way to get the average taxpayer’s attention to how they’re being fleeced. Pictures of Zimmer’s hospital board ain’t gettin’ it done. If Cappiello, Russo or Roberts ever tried to pulled a job like this there people would be in the streets screaming bloody murder. Think about it: cronies appointed by Zimmer to a closed board that negotiates with only ONE bidder before closing a smoke-and-mirrors real estate deal that will lead to St. Mary Condos on The Park in 7 years! If a stripper cop gets more people to notice what’s going on that’s fine with me.[/quote]

    • HearditallB4 says:

      JMPO but the “stripper cop” is a subliminal message relating to the SWAT team debacle in New Orleans and the possible re-instatement of one of the key members of the police that was involved. The amount of $ from the sale may possibly be used to plug the holes in the 2011-12 budget. Not sure, JMPO of course, but if there is anything illegal with the transaction it will certainly be found out; or at least I hope it will. 😛 [quote comment=”208099″]What’s up with the stripper cop in the picture? She’s unrelated to the hospital.You need to use a stripper nurse next time… Or, maybe not use strippers at all in your images.Just a thought.[/quote]

  5. whineanddineinhob says:

    I’ll be signing up to stop the sale. It’s very frightening to know 2 mayor cronies like Tony Tamarazzo (who vowed transparency) and Eric Kurta (a loser) are involved with this closed door sale for this huge amount of money. If residents think for one minute that this crazed mayor has tax relief for residents on her mind, you’ll be duped again for the hundredth time. Seems to me, she’s in a desperate need for these closing monies for a reason not being disclosed (as usual).

  6. whineanddineinhob says:

    Apology for the duplicate postings. Some didn’t appear and were re-posted.

  7. hoboken411 says:

    No subliminal messages. I let my creativity for the images I create take me wherever it wants to go. Plus, you gotta bang these things out quick, so I don’t get hung up on minor details. And who said that was a stripper? Where do you get such dirty thoughts?She’s fully clothed with no intention of removing anything. I don’t see a pole either. Is every girl that wears a short skirt in the summer a stripper? At least my mind isn’t in the gutter!

    • HearditallB4 says:

      First of all I did not say it was a stripper, I was answering a post written by someone else. My mind is not in the gutter I called that one as I thought it was. As for creativity, good for you, now I really don’t understand the policewoman in the picture. I do not want to argue about such an inconsequential thing, it was merely and observation with no insult intended, why so touchy? :) 😛 [quote comment=”208155″]No subliminal messages. I let my creativity for the images I create take me wherever it wants to go. Plus, you gotta bang these things out quick, so I don’t get hung up on minor details. And who said that was a stripper? Where do you get such dirty thoughts?She’s fully clothed with no intention of removing anything. I don’t see a pole either. Is every girl that wears a short skirt in the summer a stripper? At least my mind isn’t in the gutter![/quote]

  8. HearditallB4 says:

    Yes you should have used the @ sign, but at least you realized your mistake. Please keep us posted about this. 😛

  9. willlowed says:

    This petition is so aggravating in it’s perspective that I don’t even know where to start. Hospitals in NJ are an endangered species… especially smaller scale “community” hospitals.. Barring any divine intervention, we’re forced to do things like let insurance contracts expire. Has it occurred to these people that maybe the real culprit is the insurance companies themselves? Perhaps if their in-network reimbursement wasn’t a despicable joke hospitals wouldn’t have a problem accepting their coverage for non-emergent inpatient stays? Staffing cuts? Cost cutting measures? This is not specific to any single hospital in NJ…it is now the norm. I have no interest in defending Bayonne. I was just shocked these people are presenting these problems as specific to one facility.

  10. borincana says:

    No other media site has published anything about HUMC unless its in favor of the mayor like today it published an article from a spokesperson from humc holdco in response to the appleseed petition. You never ever see hear or read the other side of the coin only the mayors side by the way are we in a democracy ? is this apropriate ?
    thanks 411 for telling ever side of a story

  11. HearditallB4 says:

    Why would the MHA print anything other than biased articles? Isn’t it their job to back the Mayor’s non-transparent deal? So the fact that a petition is in place makes me happy no matter what the content. It tells me that the residents of Hoboken are finally realizing they need to at least get the sale stalled until the Council and the shareholders have a chance to view the other bids. Why is the Mayor and representative so defensive, if the sale were really on the up and up they wouldn’t even take the time to acknowledge the petition, they would just complete the audit and sign the final papers. If there are any illegalities involved, NJDOH will find them unless more improprities are at work. So I’m encouraging everyone to sign the petition, not to sit and accept what they think is their fate, at least fight back. The councilman representing the ward in which the hospital is located is not comfortable with this deal because in his opinion after 7 yrs. it will be sold off to a realtor. The procedure will be IMPO Holdco comes in makes everyone comfortable for about a yr. and then start to make changes. Year 2 will be the beginning of their new administration “trying” to make things work. Year 3 will bring more problems in the form of “we have tried to turn this around and nothing seems to be working”. Blah, blah, blah. Not sure when the City took over, but why do they want to get rid of it so quickly and why not tell the shareholders the particulars of the deal before the sale is completed. Something’s up!

  12. unaffiliated says:

    Can anyone tell me what the alternative to a sale is? Isn’t this thing carrying massive debt and likely to go under without a sale?

  13. HearditallB4 says:

    The alternative is to close. A sale is needed but not this particular one, though TPTB feel it is best. If it is best why not reveal the details to the taxpayers since it is a publicly owned facility. 😆

  14. borincana says:

    I think the tax payers are entitled to view ALL the other bids. Why not seek out a non profit entity to grow and invest more than 20 million? Especially given the property worth. Check out hospital in HArtfort CT similar story except thier investment to the facility will be 75 million. HUMC holdco will only fix as much as they need to make a profit for its shareholders for 7 years and onto the next best money making scheme . They dont care about the Community or about how a community hospital benefits a community as a whole. Ask them how much has business increased at Bayonne?

    And does anyone believe that buying Hoboken will make Horizon agree to pay more ?

    I dont care one way or the other but every stakeholder involved should ask for more transparency. MAyor Zimmer cant run the town properly and now she hand selects unqualified people to sell a non profit community hospital risking millions in grant funding to an entire comunity. Take a look at the city streets anyone drive the entire length of Bloomfield street? ITs pot hole after pot hole, like a war zone. Washington ST is worse.

    She cant even get that done right. She is a disgrace.

  15. HearditallB4 says:

    IA! Now let’s start with the Parking Authority Director, slap on the wrist no action taken. Municipal garage non-sale. The non-transparency of the HUMC deal. The firing of the DEP director (who she formerly claims had the experience to do the job). The FBI investigation of the computers in City Hall. The ridiculous suggestion that her term and that of her council-at-large terms be extended by six months. The firing of the very talented Dr. O’Haus (she shot herself in the foot on that one). The backing of Rhavi Bhalla to run for the Assembly and then the withdrawal of her support. The snow removal debacle in which she had to call back the former DEP supervisor on a per diem basis while she stayed at her family home in New Hampshire. Angel Alicea’s resignation those are just to name a few! Will the deal go through, of course it will since she refuses to reneg and open the bids. In the meantime, the residents of Hoboken, the employees of HUMC and the patients will all suffer because she needs to get rid of this white elephant so quickly. God help us all, she is a disgrace! 😕

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