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Owner of nursing home chain bought Bayonne Medical Center

Deal was sealed on on Nov. 11

As the weeks go on, Bayonne officials are still unclear about the new owner's plans for Bayonne Medical Center.

It was determined that Bayonne Medical Center was officially sold on Nov. 11 to an anonymous LLC called WTFK Propco. It was widely reported that city officials confirmed that WTFK Propco is connected to Avery Eisenreich, owners of Alaris Health.

Alaris Health is a chain of nursing homes in northern New Jersey. Eleven are in Hudson County. The company specializes in short-term post-hospital rehabilitation and longterm specialty care.

Since word got out that CarePoint had begun seeking to sell Bayonne Medical Center, city and county officials have vowed to do anything they can to ensure that a future operator of Bayonne Medical Center maintain full-scale operations equivalent to those provided by CarePoint.

Curtains for CarePoint

CarePoint, a for-profit healthcare provider that owns a chain of three hospitals in Hudson County, is dissolving entirely. It’s selling Christ Hospital in Jersey City and Hoboken University Medical Center to RWJBarnabas. It publicly announced its letter of intent to do so a few weeks ago. At that time, CarePoint was still seeking a buyer for Bayonne Medical Center.

Uncertainty about Bayonne Medical Center’s future heightened concerns among Bayonne City Council members, who moved to establish a municipal hospital authority that would assume control over Bayonne Medical Center’s operations if the facility’s new owner closes the facility or scales back services.

By press time, neither CarePoint nor Alaris Health had made public statements about the likelihood that Bayonne Medical Center will continue to function as a full-service hospital under the new ownership. To shut down the hospital or reduce its bed capacity, Alaris Health would have to go through lengthy approvals with the State Department of Health and other agencies.

For now, local officials report that they’ve been left out of that discussion completely.

For Bayonne residents, the next closest full-service hospital is Jersey City Medical Center, although RWJ Barnabas/Jersey City Medical Center has opened an emergency care center at 24th Street and Broadway.

While Bayonne is far from the first municipality to establish a government-appointed hospital authority, it’s unclear to what extent officials want the Bayonne Hospital Authority to regulate the daily functions of Bayonne Medical Center.

It’s also unclear how financially liable the Bayonne Hospital Authority would be for sustaining the hospital’s operations if Alaris Health reduces or eliminates full hospital service.

For updates on this and more stories check hudsonreporter.com or follow us on Twitter @hudson_reporter. Mike Montemarano can be reached at mikem@hudsonreporter.com.

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