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Christ Hospital to be financially monitored by state official

Earlier in the week, Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop petitioned Gov. Murphy for help

Christ Hospital in Jersey City

A financial monitor will be appointed to Christ Hospital amid the ongoing Hudson County hospital crisis.

Nicole Kirgan is a spokesperson for the New Jersey Department of Health (DOH) who confirmed the new development.

“The Department of Health’s mission is to ensure that all residents have access to health care services,” Kirgan told the Hudson Reporter. “The Department of Health is appointing a monitor for Christ Hospital to provide daily oversight of its finances.”

Kirgan said the monitor will be appointed through an agreement with the New Jersey Health Care Facilities Financing Authority. The monitor will review and assess the financial health of the hospital.

The appointment of a financial monitor to Christ Hospital comes just days after Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop sent a letter to Gov. Phil Murphy asking for state intervention in the negotiations between CarePoint Health and RWJBarnabas Health (RWJBH).

A cry for help

Mayor Fulop petitioned for help from Murphy after the negotiations between RWJBH and CarePoint had broken down.

CarePoint Health has dissolved and has been liquidating its assets. That includes selling Bayonne Medical Center (BMC), Christ Hospital, and Hoboken University Medical Center.

In October of 2019, CarePoint Health and RWJBH signed a letter of intent, whereby Christ Hospital and HUMC will become part of RWJBH.

Now negotiations are falling apart, because CarePoint recently rejected an offer that RWJBH said was “fair and appropriate.”

However, CarePoint said it was asked to “gift” the HUMC and Christ Hospital real estate to RWJBH.

In a letter dated Feb. 3, the Mayor Fulop acknowledged that negotiations between the two parties had come to a halt, potentially jeopardizing the future of Christ Hospital.

“It has been brought to my attention that Christ Hospital and RWJ Barnabas are at an impasse, and it appears that the closing of Christ Hospital in Jersey City may be imminent,” Fulop said.

Thousands of Jersey City residents may abruptly lose access to health care if the hospital were to close. According to Fulop, more than a thousand employees and their families face the prospect of losing employment.

“I urge you, on behalf of the people of Jersey City, to immediately bring the parties together,” Fulop said, addressing Gov. Murphy. “I’m convinced that a resolution that saves the hospital and avoids the damaging impact of closure are possible with the state’s leadership and engagement.”

Fulop stressed the time-sensitive nature of the negotiations to prevent an abrupt loss in healthcare service.

“There is simply no substitute for your direct involvement and no time to waste.” Fulop continued.

Prior to the appointment of the financial monitor, CarePoint seemed optimistic about the idea of the state getting involved in the negotiation process.

“We hope direct involvement by state and local leaders will help the negotiations,” said Eric Bloom, a spokesperson for CarePoint.

After the failure to reach a deal, it wasn’t clear if RWJBH would be willing to continue negotiations with CarePoint in the future. RWJBH reiterated its support for the residents of Hudson County through its other hospitals in the area.

For updates on this and other stories, check www.hudsonreporter.com and follow us on Twitter @hudson_reporter. Daniel Israel can be reached at disrael@hudsonreporter.com.

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