Hudson Regional Hospital is blistering Bayonne Mayor Jimmy Davis over an eminent domain plan for the local medical center, claiming it will cost taxpayers around $100 million to fully execute.
“BMC Hospital LLC is a shell entity that was founded by the owners of Surgicore, a for-profit entity that runs a string of surgery centers but have never operated an acute care facility,” HRH said in a statement this afternoon.
“Yet Surgicore’s owners have attracted the support of Mayor Jimmy Davis to the point that he is asking taxpayers for $100 million to fund an ill-advised boondoggle where the property is taken by eminent domain and leased to Surgicore’s owners at a discount.”
The latest chapter in the long, arduous fight between HRH and BMC Hospital comes after the city council approved the first reading of two related measures last month that would allow the city to bond for $95 million issued by the Hudson County Improvement Authority to begin the eminent domain process.
At the time, BMC Hospital LLC issued a statement backing the decision.
“[The] move by the City Council is a positive step toward stabilizing health care access for tens of thousands of patients who depend on Bayonne Medical Center,” they said.
“The people of Bayonne want and deserve a long-term solution for Bayonne Medical Center that prioritizes high-quality patient care, and this is the first step toward making that happen.”
“The public’s understanding and involvement in the process has become unavoidably necessary and while it has never been our intention to disrupt Bayonne’s political process, at this point we are left with no choice but to take preventative action. The consequences from this ill-conceived, highly suspect proposed transaction cannot be allowed to proceed unabated.”
In response, Davis simply said “the goal of the City of Bayonne is to pursue all available avenues for maintaining a community hospital to serve our residents.”
This is not a new strategy, as the Hudson County Board of Commissioners, then still freeholders, approved the ability to use eminent domain on any of CarePoint Health’s properties one year ago.
Furthermore, the bitter battle between HRH and BMC Hospital doesn’t appear to be subsiding any time soon, with the former issuing CarePoint Health a termination letter for their lease at the end of last year and BMC sending their adversaries a cease a desist letter in February.
The New Jersey Department of Health still has not taken any action on either of their applications seeking to operate the BMC.