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Hoboken University Medical Center makes important privatization step

City of Hoboken announces:

HOBOKEN MOVES TOWARDS PRIVATIZATION OF HOSPITAL
Hoboken University Medical Center Releases Financial Statements

The City of Hoboken and the Hoboken Municipal Hospital Authority continue to make progress towards the goal of privatizing the Hoboken University Medical Center.

In August, an RFP was issued seeking proposals for transforming the hospital from City auspices with the goals of keeping an acute care hospital open in Hoboken with essential inpatient and diagnostic services under ownership that has access to capital, retaining hospital jobs, and replacing the current City $52 million bond guarantee.  

A number of interesting proposals were submitted, and last week Mayor Dawn Zimmer and HMHA Chairwoman Toni Tomarazzo held two Stakeholder meetings to get community input on the core services of the Hospital. Approximately 30 Hoboken residents and hospital staff members participated in each of the meetings.

“Upon taking office, my Administration immediately began the process of pursuing strategic opportunities to take advantage of the market place so that we can maintain an acute care facility within our City,” said Mayor Dawn Zimmer. “Equally important, we want to relieve the Hoboken taxpayers of the approximately $52 million in bond guarantees. I also want to thank all of the volunteers for participating in the community discussions that will inform the Board’s ultimate proposal for the sale of the hospital.”

The hospital experienced a net loss of approximately $16.3 million in 2009, compared with a net loss of $21.7 million in 2008. Previous operating losses have been stemmed, and the hospital is on track to meet its budget for Fiscal Year 2010.

In the past year, the hospital, through the contribution of management and staff, has introduced a variety of enhanced services including the STEP (Senior Treatment and Evaluation Program) Unit, and increased the utilization of the Emergency Room, which saw a more than 700 patient increase for the month of September, 2010 compared to 2009.

On October 27, 2010, the HMHA board reviewed the initial proposals for strategic opportunities from interested parties in closed session, and three committees have been established to consider the proposals: one to consider the quality of the other hospitals that are bidding, one to examine bond-related issues, and another to coordinate continued review of the submitted bids. The board will return with a final proposal which will then be introduced to the community in a public meeting for comment. A state representative from the Department of Health is fully involved in the process.

“The long-term sustainability of the hospital is best achieved by moving forward with the plan to privatize the hospital — ending the city’s ownership and transitioning governance to a new non-governmental entity,” added Mayor Zimmer. “The transition process is now well underway.”

Link: http://www.hobokennj.org/news/hoboken-moves-towards-privatization-of-hospital/  

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