Figurehead, yes. A non-secular hospital, no

Thanks to the current state of non- secular hospitals not being able to keep themselves afloat, a Catholic hospital or hospital run by another Christian religious group will now be a thing of the past.

At least in this state, that’s how it’s working out.

We have a mess on our hands here. Just about every hospital in our area is financially going bust and floundering to stay alive.

An investment group just got the approval to buy out one of the Catholic hospitals, one I’ll refer to as Hospital X.

3 or 4 others are to follow and be bought out by the same investment group.

There are only a handful of hospitals that seem to be not in this category; they were well heeled institutions to begin with and they are the only facilities that are improving and building and offering more and more services and programs.

Most of these hospitals I just mentioned serve the same demographic groups but they are financially sound.

However, there are the others.

A group of Catholic hospitals and one that is run by the Episcopalians. (The Episcopalian facility was bought out by a group of investors a couple of years ago  and things are still shaky over there, from what I have heard)

The state has been keeping these hospitals alive by infusing them with cash — I say that should be a no.

Why?

Because these are private businesses! Why should the citizens of our state be the ones to fork over money for this bunch?

And more than one of them has gone Chapter 11 despite the state money!

Yet the state keeps pouring money into these hospitals, including Hospital X. Hospital X headed into Chapter 11, despite the state infusion of money — and the money from the state kept on coming in after the bankruptcy declaration!

Nobody from the state sent a watchdog or auditor or anything to make sure that money was used for the purpose it was intended to! Somebody needed to be accountable for the money and where it went…but that’s another story.

To just hand over a large amount of cash and NOT monitor its use??? Foolhardy and risky.

ANyway, a figurehead is what these non-secular hospitals will be. They will not be true Catholic hospitals.

The new owners were told that they had to adhere to the principals of how a Catholic hospital operates — ie, no therapeutic abortions being offered, no tubal ligations and no birth control via prescription being offered at the pharmacies.

Lots of the above is sign of the times: can be performed in a physician’s office or an an outpatient facility, though there are women who opt for a tubal ligation to be done after a C section.

They want this group to make sure that Masses are still celebrated daily and on holy days and to make sure there is no meat served on Fridays in Lent,  but I am guessing that is no skin of the nose of the investment group that just got approval to buy out the place.

This is also a monopoly — this group has plans on buying 3 or 4 more Catholic hospitals and to turn them into a “money maker.”

This is a laugh, because we all know that the uninsured client is a sitting duck for hospital charges! you will automatically be charged MORE, thanks to your uninsured status…

And being that Hospital X is supposed to serve the poor, in an area where there are mostly illegal aliens — the city is full of mostly Mexicans — how are the higher prices supposed to help the indigent?

They see this investment group as a knight in shining armor — with out the group buying them out, they’d likely would have closed.

The investment group has also been under investigation for the way they diagnose patients (all of this has to do with culling the largest insurance payment they can get their hands on)

The state had Hospital X on a “closure” list in 1992; at the time the state was looking to skim costs and shut down hospitals that simply could not make the grade. I am thinking that is exactly what the state should have done back then.  And it is an odd thing: most of the hospitals ON that list are dead and gone and closed; they ceased operations over the last 2 decades.

Not only that, we the people in the state of New Jersey are now on the hook for the debt these hospitals have rung up! Yep, WE get stuck wqith the bill for that, not the investment group! They’re off the hook!

If Prime gives so much a damn about caring about the community, let them pay off every penny of the debt!

(I also do not relish the fact that a non-American group of investors bought these hospitals out. Charity begins at home — can’t you at least make sure OUR own people buy it? Stay in India and boy out hospitals over there)

There have already been layoffs at Hospital X that is at the heart of this buyout; the new owners promised to “substantially hire” the staff….

And that to me means “layoffs are coming but we don’t know how many!”

There wre layoffs there 2 months ago and it was managers and heads of departments that got the boot — you don’t think that this group won’t bring in their own little playmates to run the show? Think about it.

The staff members — and community that uses that hospital — ain’t seen nothin’ yet, IMO. IT’s going to be a bumpy and shitty ride; they need to strap themselves IN…

Before Prime takes their bloody seatbelts away.

I will say this for Hospital X: their employee benefits were the best: 3 weeks vacation, 12 personal days, tuition reimbursement was 100%. top of the line health and dental insurance, to name a few. I am guessing that over the years, those benefits went kaput and they sure will be now, once that group takes over. For all the millions this bunch has, you can bet that the employee salaries will never be raised accordingly.

And we had the cleanest hospital — and lab — that you ever saw. Not one dustbunny or dust at all. Clean as a whistle.

The investment group has to promise to keep the facility open as an acute care facility for 5 years. When the 5 year time limit runs  out, who knows what will happen?

That this is the only investment group and buyer that was interested is a big red flag to me. Hackensack Medical wasn’t interested — they bought out another hospital over in Montclair so it isn’t a money thing.

3 thoughts on “Figurehead, yes. A non-secular hospital, no”

  1. This is another reason why this system of ours is a MESS.

    How interesting to see that what it’s come down to is some bunch with a bundle of money to buy out a hospital. If a hospital itself can’t get things to work, something is wrong.

    Hospitals were not meant to be money makers per se: they were there to aid the community and they were places to go to get well I can’t figure out how things went so bad so fast for the hospital system. Was it the insurance companies raising prices? Was it too many people minus coverage? Who knows.

  2. It is not enough for a hospital or any enterprise to just break even. They have to make enough money to replace existing equipment, maintain the facility and make capital improvements, and money for such investments often has to be accumulated over a period of time. The alternative is to have the physical plant of the hospital decline over time. This presumes that the hospital is earning enough to pay its operating costs. Often supplies are net 30 days terms, and insurance companies are often slower to pay than that.

    I don’t know what the true cost of delivering a medical service is compared to the cost that I see on my insurance bill, which is routinely reduced by 50% or so from what the hospital seeks to charge. People call for “charity care” from the non-profits, so that cost will have to be absorbed from somewhere. The Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act (EMTALA), which was passed in 1986, requires hospitals to treat people regardless of ability to pay. They don’t have to be cured, only stabilized, and then they can be transferred elsewhere (but where?). I can imagine that roughly 30 years of this law and the unpaid medical expenses that it has forced hospitals to bear has slowly depleted their financial reserves.

    It isn’t all EMTALA, reimbursement rates form insurance companies, and uncertainty concerning medicare/Medicaid reimbursement rates, but these are significant factors. It is also worth noting that the increase in cost of health care, even for the insured, has outstripped wage increases for at least thirty years. Health insurance is more access to health care services at a negotiated price than true insurance that makes us whole for a loss.

    We’re also seeing a stripping out of the people most able to pay for health care by doctors who are beginning to see people by subscription and by doctors who do not accept health insurance.

  3. I for one can’t believe that the state infused big money into every single one of thes ailing hospitals.

    Is this not private enterprise? WHy shuld they bail out a hospital that is a failing business model?

    The hospital being bought out went Chapter 11 about 5 years ago and still the state gave oodles of money. With no watchdog and no monitor. What kind of cockamamie logic is that?

    Closed Hospital X in 1992. They were better off doing it.

    “This is our city’s only hospital…” Yeah? Well, they did not need THREE, either — btw, those 2 hospitals closed down. One bought out the other and then that hospital failed… and then Hospital X bought out the building and grounds. That was 3 years ago.

    The nearest hospital to that is St. Joe’s in Paterson and the nearest after that is in Belleville. Not every town “needs” a hospital. Passaic now is filled with mostly illegals — the Slavs and working class people moved out about 20 years ago — this is primarily why they want the hospital to stay open: so the Mexicans will have a hospital to go to.

    This town’s gone the same way as Union City did: a town that was mostly working class people — they are long gone and now 90% of the town is Central and South American immigrants, I am guessing most are illegal.

    Union City is far larger, both in population and size — and they have no hospital. The closest twos are about 20 minutes down the road in each direction.

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