Friday, November 28, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Coalition Makes Case for State Attaching Strings to St. Mary's Hospital Sale

Prime Healthcare Services' yearlong effort to buy St. Mary's Hospital in Passaic is entering its endgame, as a coalition of opponents to the deal argue that it will put the community, patients and healthcare workers at risk if the state doesn't attach more strings to the deal.

Coalition Makes Case for State Attaching Strings to St. Mary’s Hospital Sale

Prime Healthcare Services’ yearlong effort to buy St. Mary’s Hospital in Passaic is entering its endgame, as a coalition of opponents to the deal argue that it will put the community, patients and healthcare workers at risk if the state doesn’t attach more strings to the deal.

This coalition, which includes unions that represent workers at other hospitals as well as healthcare advocates and community activists, alleges that the core of Prime’s business model – turning struggling nonprofit facilities into profit makers – is based on dangerous tactics that only a bevy of state requirements and a state-appointed monitor can combat.

But Prime has gained a key ally – JNESO, the union that represents nurses and other healthcare workers at St. Mary’s, has already reached a contract agreement with Prime pending completion of the sale.

The process will come to a head over the next two nights, as the state Department of Health holds a pair of legally required public hearings at Passaic High School, during which opponents and supporters of Prime are expected to make their case.

The outcome will have ramifications for not only the St. Mary’s sale, but also for Prime’s bids for Saint Michael’s Medical Center in Newark and the three Morris County hospitals operated by Saint Clare’s Health System.

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