JERSEY CITY AND BEYOND - After a day and a half of closed-door meetings, a federal bankruptcy judge has yet to rule on a viable bidder for the struggling Christ Hospital in Jersey City. If a decision is not reached Tuesday it is possible the judge will not make a ruling until the end of the week, according to sources.
At least two bids were submitted to the bankruptcy court by the March 15 deadline. One bid was submitted by Community Healthcare Associates (CHA) in a partnership with LibertyHealth System, which currently owns Jersey City Medical Center. Another bid came from Hudson Holdco LLC, which owns Bayonne Medical Center and Hoboken University Medical Center.
A third bid that had been anticipated from MHA, the owner of Meadowlands Hospital Medical Center in Secaucus, was never submitted.
Christ Hospital filed for bankruptcy last month after a deal to sell the hospital to a company in California fell through.
MHA and Hudson Holdco are for-profit companies and would likely turn the hospital into a for-profit entity. CHA is a consulting and real estate development company that tries to stabilize struggling medical facilities by partnering with hospitals and others in the healthcare community. Like Christ Hospital, LibertyHealth System is a nonprofit entity, and Christ would remain nonprofit under Liberty's ownership - despite the involvement of CHA - since LibertyHealth would hold the license.
The hospital currently loses about $800,000 a month, according Christ CEO Peter Kelly. And according to a September 2011 letter submitted to the state attorney general from Christ's lawyers, the "hospital's total liabilities exceed approximately $123 million. In contrast, the hospital has recorded its assets as of June 30, 2011 at approximately $38.7 million."
The hospital's bankruptcy filing last month listed its liabilities as $115 million. - E. Assata Wright