NJ DOH, state healthcare financing agency, poised to pick fiscal monitor for Christ Hospital

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In a joint effort between the New Jersey Department of Health and the state Health Care Facilities Financing Authority, Jersey City’s Christ Hospital will receive a fiscal monitor in the midst of concerns about a potential closure.

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

“The Department of Health is appointing a monitor for Christ Hospital to provide daily oversight of its finances. The monitor will be appointed through an agreement with the New Jersey Health Care Facilities Financing Authority,” NJ DOH spokeswoman Donna Leusner told HCV.

“Services will be supplied by the Health Care Facilities Financing Authority (HCFFA) consistent with their expertise and an existing agreement with the Department of Health.”

Last night, after Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop urged Gov. Phil Murphy (D) to intervene  after a sale between Christ Hospital, one of three Hudson County hospitals owned by CarePoint Health, and RWJBarnabas Health fell apart, the governor’s office said a state monitor would be appointed.

The state HCFFA “is the primary issuer of municipal bonds for New Jersey’s health care organizations,” according to their website.

“Created in 1972 by an Act of the Legislature to provide not-for-profit health care providers with access to low-cost capital, the Authority’s statutory powers were expanded in 1998 to include financing for all health care organizations or components thereof.”

The authority is governed by a seven-member board that includes the health commissioner (who serves as chairman), the commissioner of human services, and commissioner of banking and insurance.

There are also supposed to be for public members appointed by the governor with state Senate approval, though their website says that there are currently only two public members, one of which is a holdover from Gov. Chris Christie’s (R) administration, their website says.

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.

While the future of the BMC has remained in limbo since then, CarePoint has accused Alaris Health of interfering with the sales in hopes of purchasing the BMC and converting it into a nursing home.