Home Events + News Christ Hospital in Jersey City Could Be Closing

Christ Hospital in Jersey City Could Be Closing

by Steph
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UPDATE AS OF 2/8/2020: In what seems to be a direct response to the ongoing lawsuit between Alaris and CarePoint Health, Hoboken City Council introduced an emergency ordinance to the city’s zoning codes on February 5, 2020. This emergency ordinance now establishes a “Hospital Zone” at 308 Willow Avenue, the current location of Hoboken University Medical Center. This ordinance is awaiting second reading; according to Hudson Reporter, if adopted, the ordinance seeks to protect HUMC from exactly what’s happening to Christ Hospital in Jersey City. The ordinance states that the Hospital Zone area can only be used for medical purposes. According to language in the ordinance, it “secures the present hospital use, and maintains and supports future growth and development of [a] medical facility.”

In October 2019, Hoboken Girl reported that CarePoint Health Hospital in Hoboken and Jersey City Heights at Christ Hospital were selling to RWJBarnabas in an acquisition that was supposed to take place by the end of last December. Now, Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop has publicly expressed concern that Christ Hospital may close, due to agreements between RWJBarnabas and CarePoint Health reaching an “impasse.”

“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 wrote in a letter to NJ Governor Phil Murphy today. “Should a closure occur, thousands of our residents may abruptly lose access to health care that has been available for generations. Furthermore, more than a thousand employees and their families face the prospect of losing employment.” Keep reading to find out what this means for both Jersey City and Hoboken.

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{Photo credit: Google Maps}

Here’s What a Christ Hospital Closure Could Mean

Christ Hospital is located in Jersey City Heights, but an unexpected closure could affect Hoboken and essentially all of Hudson County, as well.

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Fulop isn’t the only political figure weighing in on the chaos that could occur should Christ Hospital close. Ward D Councilman Michael Yun has also spoken out, according to Hudson County View.

“The closing of Christ Hospital would be a devastating blow not only to the Jersey City Heights community, but its impact would also ripple throughout Central Hudson,” Yun said. “From those serviced by the medical institution, to those who work there and make Hudson County their home, no one would be spared from its negative impact.”

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It’s worth noting that Christ Hospital is located outside of Yun’s district, yet Yun still believes its closure would be a detriment to the area as a whole.

Fulop also insinuated that Christ Hospital’s closure could constitute a crisis situation.

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What an “Impasse” Means

In Fulop’s letter to Governor Murphy, the reason for Christ Hospital closing is listed as “an impasse.” But what exactly does that mean? An impasse generally means a stalemate — that agreements have no possible future of progressing further. Both parties are stuck and can’t come to a full agreement and so it looks like the deal isn’t going through.

That means that Christ Hospital is not owned by RWJBarnabas and that as it stands, Christ Hospital doesn’t have the resources to stay open on its own. Ultimately, it means Christ Hospital would be forced to close.

Details on the Original Agreement

It was announced back in October 2019 that CarePoint had signed a non-binding letter of intent to sell Christ Hospital to RWJBarnabas. {The selling of Hoboken University Medical Center was also part of the deal.}

Since then, CarePoint has alleged that Alaris Health has interfered with the sale, attempting to thwart the deal and buy Bayonne Medical Center. It was announced around the same time that Bayonne Medical Center would be closing. CarePoint also alleged that Alaris was attempting to transform Bayonne Medical Center into a nursing home.

Those allegations aren’t empty either. As of January 6th, CarePoint filed a lawsuit against Alaris for the alleged interference and is asking for a restraining order. Alaris has come back with a counterclaim, alleging CarePoint owners embezzled millions of dollars while their hospitals were on the brink of shutting down.

Hudson County officials have also been doing whatever they can to prevent the closure of Bayonne Medical Center.

Read More: All the Hoboken + Jersey City Spots Opening in 2020

The Future

Mayor Fulop has appealed to Governor Murphy, asking that he get involved and ultimately, stop Christ Hospital from closing.

“There is simply no substitute for your direct involvement and no time to waste,” Fulop continued in the letter.”Please be assured that I’m available at any time to be of assistance with whatever initiative you commence.”

While there is no official word from Gov. Murphy himself, Murphy’s deputy press secretary Alexandra Altman did release a statement and mentioned that a state monitor would be appointed to Christ Hospital.

“Governor Murphy believes that all New Jerseyans deserve access to affordable, high-quality health care,” Altman said. “The Murphy Administration, through the Department of Health, will appoint a monitor to Christ Hospital to provide daily oversight of its finances.”

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