Hudson Regional Hospital and CarePoint Health’s ongoing feud has spilled into the Mile Square City this time around, though both agree ownership of the Hoboken University Medical Center likely won’t change any time soon.
Thomas Abbate, of Decotiis, Fitzpatrick, Cole & Giblin, LLP, wrote a letter to Jersey Journal Editor/Publisher David Blomquist on August 22nd asking for the newspaper to add an editor’s note to a story from earlier this month since a spokesman allegedly gave comment without authorization to do so.
“As a matter of corporate policy, because of the existence of pending litigation with CarePoint and various related entities, HRH management will only comment on any matter relating to the future of CarePoint or its hospitals in writing, and with the express, advance approval of management,” he wrote.
“We disavow and repudiate Mr. [Ron] Simoncini’s comments and ask The Jersey Journal to respect our corporate policy on a going forward basis.”
In the article in question about the possibility of Hoboken using eminent domain to acquire the hospital land, Simoncini said in part that “it’s responsive to CarePoint’s long ago announced plans to exit the market, and we would be an eager operator of that hospital.”
The competing Hudson County hospital systems have been embroiled in a blood feud for over two years, with tensions boiling over in June 2020 CarePoint announced that BMC Medical Center would be taking over their Bayonne hospital – though HRH nearly simultaneously spoke of a $220 million hospital land deal in Hoboken and Bayonne.
In response, Simoncini said in a statement said the legal activity between HRH and CarePoint over the story “has been twisted into an interpretation that borders on the ludicrous.”
“To set the record straight, Hudson Regional typically issues statements, but in a recent instance of a story being reported on deadline, I contributed spoken thoughts on behalf of Hudson Regional and the history of its interest in operating Hoboken University Medical Center,” he said.
“Those thoughts were accurately reported as a historical fact, but in isolation could have been read to suggest that CarePoint currently, rather than previously, expected to exit the marketplace. My comments as part of the historical narrative should not have been a cause for dispute.”
He added that he did not intent the comments to suggest that CarePoint has current plans to exit the market and did not fault the reporter for the story.
Neither side appears to have gained much ground in court or with the New Jersey Department of Health, though CarePoint has recently converted to non-profit status.
CarePoint spokesman Phil Swibinski slammed their rivals for “desperate attempts to smear” them, adding they now plan on moving forward.
“Now that the truth has been exposed, CarePoint Health will continue to focus its energy on improving health outcomes for Hudson County residents, providing an extraordinary level of patient-centric care, pioneering new medical technologies and partnering with world-renowned health leaders to better serve patients,” he said.
“We hope that this ugly episode will put an end to Hudson Regional Hospital’s attempts to undermine CarePoint Health and weaken Hudson County’s health care system.”
Editor’s note: This story was updated with a comment from Hudson Regional Hospital spokesman Ron Simoncini.