Hospital offer of $91.7 million approved by Hospital Authority

The Hoboken University Medical Center moved forward and crossed an important threshold accepting a contract from HUMC Holdco’s $91.7 million bid.  The amount if finalized as part of an ongoing public process requiring state approval would relieve the city’s $52 million bond obligation while maintaining the institution as an acute care facility.

The commitment by the contract bidder for the hospital also requires as part of the sale a seven year timeframe at a minimum to keep the hospital open and maintain no less than 75% of the existing employees.  The minimum of 75% employee retention is not a set goal but a standard of expectation as a starting point.

The hospital has been operating at a deficit since its sale as St. Mary’s in 2007.  Although there have been improvements such as the emergency room and givebacks from the employee unions since, the hospital is still losing money although at a slower rate.

Any finalization of the hospital sale set by a July 31 deadline will also require it maintain equivalent standards of care as others within the county.  A series of public meetings will take place before the end of July.

Last night’s hospital authority moved a $90 million potential sale forward but there will be months
of public discussions before any final decision late July.

Talking Ed Note:  The hospital is a big issue with difficult choices faced over the last several years.  It has been losing money at an alarming rate, aided by State funding for the last two years, something unusual by the state standards.

Some will question many aspects of the $91.7 million bid but those details will be fully discussed publicly and CEO Spiros Hatiras has indicated it was the bid he saw the greatest value among those received.  In 2007, the hospital received no bids.

Keeping the hospital for seven years as an acute care facility and one hopes long after, is easily the best remedy we’ve seen since it was St. Mary’s.  It’s been in danger of far worse in the interim.

Correction: The offer was not $90 million but $91.7 million.

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