CarePoint Health is suing Alaris Health, whose owner has purchased the Bayonne Medical Center property, alleging that they are interfering with the bidding process to sell the hospital in an effort to convert it into a nursing home.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
“Plaintiffs have learned from at least one prospective bidder for Bayonne Medical Center that [Avery] Eisenreich is encouraging that party to wait for Bayonne Medical Center to file for bankruptcy protection before submitting a bid,” CarePoint’s ownership group, led by HUMC Holdco LLC, said in a December 10th lawsuit against Alaris, Eisenreich, their owner, and other related companies.
” … Eisenreich’s admitted intent is to cause Bayonne Medical Center to close as an acute care hospital to enable him to ‘repurpose’ it as a long term care facility or nursing home similar to the facilities that Defendant Alaris Health (and Eisenreich) operates.”
The 77-page, 10-count suit – filed in Delaware Chancery Court – is seeking a temporary restraining order to prevent Eisenreich, or anyone on his behalf, from communicating with Robert Wood Johnson Barnabas Health or any perspective BMC bidder.
Back on October 21st, Hudson County officials said they would push back against any plan that would lead to the closure of the BMC, prompting CarePoint to announce less than a day later that they were selling Christ Hospital and the Hoboken University Medical Center to RWJBH.
At the time, CarePoint said they had “initiated a separate process seeking a strategic partner for Bayonne Medical Center.”
According to the court filing, Eisenreich purchased the real estate associated with the HUMC and BMC back on November 5th, a violation of their lease agreement, and in turn CarePoint is asking the court to impose “an equitable lien.”
CarePoint has quietly been downsizing since the spring, following the state Commission of Investigation revealing that their owners received $157 million in management fees between their three hospitals.
In July, healthcare union workers at the BMC called on the state to appoint a full-time financial monitor “to protect the financial stability of CarePoint hospitals.”
Additionally, last month, a hospital transparency bill introduced by Bayonne Assemblyman Nick Chiaravalloti (D-31) went to Gov. Phil Murphy’s (D) desk after clearing both houses of the state legislature.
Finally, just last week, Politico reported that CarePoint CEO Natasha Deckmann had resigned.
A spokesman for CarePoint said they did not comment on pending litigation, while Alaris could not be reached for comment.