In a letter to Gov. Phil Murphy (D), all nine Hudson County legislators are calling for a state investigation into the owners of CarePoint Health less than day before a meeting that will likely decide the fate of Christ Hospital for the foreseeable future.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
” … We request that the Department of Health, Department of Banking and Insurance, and Attorney General investigate the operations of Clover Health and Alaris Health (both of which companies are owned and operated by CarePoint owners) to determine if similar actions that threaten to compromise patient care or are otherwise violative of regulations are underway,” state Sens. Brian Stack, Sandra Cunningham, and Nick Sacco, along with Assembly members Annette Chaparro, Raj Mukherji, Angelica Jimenez, Pedro Mejia, Nick Chiaravalloti and Angela McKnight, wrote to Murphy today.
“The near bankruptcy of the CarePoint hospitals is directly related to the decision by ownership to withdraw unreasonably large sums from their operations for personal profit at the detriment to services and the health care available to Hudson County residents.”
The elected leaders are particularly critical of Alaris Health owner Avery Eisenreich, also a 25 percent owner in Christ Hospital.
He is currently embroiled in bitter litigation with CarePoint, accusing him of interfering with the sales of Christ Hospital and the Hoboken University Medical Center, as well as hoping to purchase the Bayonne Medical Center and convert it into a nursing home.
“It is equally clear that Mr. Avery Eisenreich, who quite ironically cites through counsel the SCI report liberally throughout his counterclaims against his CarePoint partners, is no innocent oppressed minority shareholder, as he knowingly and willingly acquiesced to the questionable practices involving the management companies,” the letter continues.
While he isn’t mentioned directly directly, the letter also targets Vivek Garipalli, another CarePoint owner, since he is also the CEO of Clover Health.
Also noting that Christ Hospital is “on the verge of bankruptcy” with the BUMC “only a few weeks behind,” the Hudson officials also request for state monitors in Hoboken and Bayonne. Christ Hospital received a state monitor last week.
As HCV first reported, concerns of Christ Hospital declaring bankruptcy began to surface on Thursday, though Stack and Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop have since set up a meeting with officials from CarePoint and Robert Wood Johnson Barnabas Health tomorrow as a last ditch effort to keep the facility open.
Other requests include ordering the New Jersey Department of Health “to enjoin any closing without a certificate need” and nullifying any real estate transactions related to the three hospitals. Eisenreich owns the land that the BMC and the HUMC sit on.
In October, CarePoint announced that they had signed a non-binding letter of intent to sell Christ Hospital and the Hoboken University Medical Center to RWJBH in the midst of concerns about the Bayonne Medical Center closing.
That deal has since fallen apart, leaving the future of all three CarePoint hospitals in limbo ahead of tomorrow’s pivotal meeting.
A spokeswoman for Murphy did not immediately return an email seeking comment.