Lt. Governor, Other Officials Symbolically Open Hoboken Hospital
Although the sale was official already, a symbolic ribbon cutting took place on Thursday afternoon in the hospital's emergency room.
Hoboken, state and county officials gathered on Thursday afternoon to symbolically open the Hoboken University Medical Center since its ownership has been transfered to the hands of private owner HUMC Holdco LLC.
Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno—also acting governor for the day because Gov. Chris Christie was out of state—together with Health Commissioner Mary O'Dowd attended the ceremony in the hospital's emergency room.
Mayor Dawn Zimmer, former Mayor David Roberts and several council members also attended the ribbon cutting. The hospital's new CEO Philip Scheangold was in attendance as well as several members of the—now defunct—Hoboken Municipal Hospital Authority.
The new owners are still negotiating with several insurance companies, said Commissioner O'Dowd. Concerns have arisen that many Hobokenites' insurance will no longer be within the hospital's network and therefore not accepted in Hoboken.
O'Dowd, whose signature of approval was the final step in the process of the sale, said that there are no requirements for hospitals that require them to accept a certain amount of insurance providers. (The state does mandate that the hospital accept Medicare).
Guadagno called Thursday afternoon a "very important moment." Christie allocated a total of $16 million to the sale, an $11 earmark in the budget to go toward debt payments and another $5 million to go toward a bankruptcy settlement. Zimmer praised the Christie administration for its role in the sale, and looked back on "many, many, many long nights and trips down to Trenton."