Given that I live in Hudson County, widely called New York City’s sixth borough, you’d think that my area – or in fact any part of New Jersey this close to New York – wouldn’t have a problem with having enough medical facilities.
But hospitals around here are struggling. In just my neck of the woods, Greenville Hospital closed in 2008. Bayonne Medical Center went bankrupt and was acquired by Hudson Hospital Holdco. Now it doesn’t accept several major medical plans (including mine) except for emergency services. Hoboken University Medical Center also was acquired by HUMC Holdco, the same owners as Bayonne. And most recently, Christ Hospital filed Chapter 11.
The Christ Hospital situation has been going on for a some time, and in fact the hospital had been negotiating an acquisition by Prime Healthcare Services. So this is nothing new as states and cities try to get out of the healthcare business. But many believe patient care can suffer. Fortunately for my neighbors and me, Jersey City Medical Center has been voted the best hospital in the state by the Castle Connolly Medical Ltd.’s survey of physicians for two years running.
But I don’t hear about much turmoil elsewhere in New Jersey regarding hospitals. A number of projects are being built in the southern part of the state, according to a Jones Lang LaSalle report, and an aging population clearly will need more and better facilities.
So why can’t hospitals in Hudson County make it work?