CarePoint sends letter to Murphy asking for $129M in American Rescue Plan funds


CarePoint Health sent a letter to Gov. Phil Murphy (D) on Friday asking for $129 million in American Rescue Plan funds, which they say is needed to purchase the hospital land and continue providing healthcare services without interruption.

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

“We hope this letter finds you in good health. We are writing to seek urgent support in ensuring the subsistence of the three CarePoint Health hospitals: Bayonne Medical Center, Christ Hospital, and Hoboken University Medical Center,” four CarePoint officials wrote to the governor on Friday.

“The hospitals are critical access points for care for the people of Hudson County and its surrounding communities. We are seeking $129M in ARPA – Coronavirus Recovery / State Fiscal Recovery Fund (SFRF) to ensure the hospitals’ capacity to deliver healthcare services to the diverse communities throughout Hudson County.”

The chief hospital executives for Christ Hospital in Jersey City, Marie Duffy, Hoboken University Medical Center, Anthony Gagliardi, the Bayonne Medical Center, Dr. Alfredo Rabines, and CarePoint Health Systemic Chief Medical Officer John Rimmer all signed the letter.

They refer to Christ Hospital and the HUMC as “safety net hospitals” that have collectively seen over 60,000 charity visits in their emergency department, as well as more than 40,000 charity visits at their neighborhood health centers since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Our safety net hospitals are a lifeline and access points for the uninsured, underinsured, and the vulnerable communities. They are an integral component of the Hudson County healthcare delivery system,” the letter continues.

“Inequitable access to care, protecting the disadvantaged populations, and bridging the healthcare gap must be placed at the forefront. The fundamental right to achieve optimal health must be guaranteed and protected by governments.”

CarePoint’s requests come at a time when their money woes are well documented, while they announced a team up with former rival Hudson Regional Hospital in January, it turns out that was at about the same time the state appointed a financial monitor.

That came about a month after CarePoint President and CEO Dr. Achintya Moulick said the hospital chain would need $130 million to continue operating “at an optimal pace.”

The nine-figure ask also came less than two weeks after The Record reported that the state has billions of dollars remaining in American Rescue Plan funds, which must be spent by December 2026 or else it will be returned to the U.S. Treasury.

“We respectfully ask for support for the continued utilization of these three hospitals for the people of Hudson County, to ensure their access through funds in the amount of $129M. These dollars will purchase the properties each of the hospitals’ are located,” the letter says.

“This financial support will ensure these hospitals will achieve their goal and legacy of providing unmatched healthcare services throughout Hudson county. [sic]”

Additionally, U.S. Rep. Rob Menendez (D-8) co-sponsored the Reinforcing Essential Health System for Communities Act to allow hospitals like CarePoint Health to access federal funding opportunities.

In a statement, CarePoint said ARP funds were initially allocated from the federal government to provide relief during the pandemic and therefore hospital systems like this one should merit serious consideration.

“CarePoint Health continues to focus on making sure our patients have access to high-quality and compassionate patient-centered care and our leadership team is doing everything we can to ensure that outcome. The state is considering many different types of organizations during this round of distributions, but they should remember why the money was given to each state in the first place: To provide relief from the pandemic,” they began.

“Safety-net healthcare systems like CarePoint Health are still struggling to make that recovery due to mounting inflationary pressure combined with escalating charity and uncompensated care demands across the system along with lack of adequate state funding and should be prioritized by lawmakers as they consider who receives the next round of ARPA distributions. Communities NEED Community Hospitals.”


Editor’s note: This story was updated with a statement from CarePoint Health.

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    • We’re past the point where the local leaders can do anything, either Trenton is going to bail them out or they aren’t. There’s not a third option at this stage in the game.

      • Past the point for Ravi to write a letter supporting the ask? The voice of local leaders has power. If Ravi says nothing it implies to Trenton that this isn’t particularly important for Hoboken. That’s true for every issue where Hoboken needs Trenton”s help.

        Does anyone doubt that Mayor Fulop would be advocating aggressively on behalf of Jersey City Medical Center if it’s survival was at risk?

        • Point taken, but letters truly aren’t going to make a difference at this point. Murphy and company already know what they’re going to do here. So should Bhalla, Fulop, and Davis all still advocate? Yes. Will it actually change anything? No.

  1. What a situation! But charity care and the low reimbursement rates for Medicaid are a real problem. The state has no choice but to step in. Remember Gov, Hudson County is dutifully democratic so step in and help the sheep. And a message to all those fools out there: HOSPITALS ARE FOR ACUTE CARE AND NOT BECAUSE YOU HAVE THE SNIFFLES OR A TUMMY ACHE!!