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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, to go toward debt payments and . Zimmer praised the Christie administration for its role in the sale, and looked back on " and ."

Fire Carmelo Garcia December 01, 2011 at 11:23 PM
hmmm, i wonder if beth mason showed up, if she did I suspect she would need a body guard as I suspect the hospital employees are not too happy with her antics these last few months.
hobokenhorse.com December 01, 2011 at 11:29 PM
Beth Mason did not show her face today at the hospital. The only member of MORTe who did was Councilwoman Terry Castellano, who looked very uncomfortable much of the time when speaker after speaker spoke thanking Hospital Authority Chair Toni Tomarazzo, Governor Christie, Mary O'Dowd, and of course Mayor Zimmer plus of course the entire Hospital Authority Board. The City filmed the event and it will be on Channel 78 Cablevision and MSV requested a copy be made available online. Mile Square View will also be providing additional coverage to Hoboken Patch's report. http://hobokenhorse.com
Redrider765 December 02, 2011 at 01:37 PM
Guessing none of the 4 stooges who tried to kill the hospital bothered to show?
xtreme December 02, 2011 at 03:11 PM
Concerned - Hospitals cannot turn a patient away in an emergency regardless of that person's insurance coverage. They are legally obligated to treat and stabilize you until you are healthy enough to leave, be transferred to an in-network facility or confirm you can pay out of pocket.
Redrider765 December 02, 2011 at 03:23 PM
Concerned likes to ignore that if HUMC could have turned away people who couldn't pay, it never would have been in trouble to begin with and Hoboken never would have taken it over or had to guarantee those bonds.
Jabberwock December 02, 2011 at 05:21 PM
Those of us that do not have an insurance that is in-network will have to go elsewhere for the time being. Hopefully the hospital will be successful in its negotiation with other insurance carriers so that they will have a chance to secure of a wider customer base and, in turn, have a better chance of surviving.
Journey December 02, 2011 at 05:29 PM
I've been a frequent users of ERs (Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, and Connecticut). If the hospital does not take your insurance, but it is an emergency or childbirth they can not send you away. There is a sign in every ER I have ever been in. Now what happens when they they try to bill you is another story altogether and has to do with what insurance you have.
xtreme December 02, 2011 at 05:37 PM
Just because your carrier is not in-network doesn't mean you'll get turned way of you choose to use the facility. In my case I will just have a higher out of pocket cost (deductible) than if I was to use an in-network facility. I would suggest you contact your healthcare provider and check what your out of network coverage is and and adjust your budget accordingly. You can always request in an emergency situation to be taken to a facility of your choosing by an ambulance. Some EMS services may push you towards their preferred facility but ultimately it's your choice (unless you're incapacitated). I was an EMT for 8 years and worked for various payed and volunteer services in both NJ & PA including HVAC.
Redrider765 December 02, 2011 at 06:00 PM
You are dead wrong. If it is an emergency and you need treatment, they must treat you. Then after treatment, you, the hospital and HUMC get to fight over who gets to pay how much. But you will be treated. Stop fearmongering.
xtreme December 02, 2011 at 06:11 PM
Concerned - I think you're a bit confused on how emergency treatment is administered with regard to insurance coverage. Let me try to help. There are 3 types of people, 1) those w/ an in-network provider, 2) those with an out of network provider, & 3) those with no insurance whatsoever. The all 3 cases emergency care must be provided if that individual shows up at the ER. In case #1 the individual will pay a small deductible, case #2 the individual will pay a higher deductible and case #3 the individual will bear the full cost of services rendered. The ONLY time a hospital may turn away a patient with without any coverage is if extended care is needed (like admittance). In most cases the hospital will suggest alternatives for that person to receive the care they need. Generally the people without insurance don't pay their hospital bills because they can't afford them so the hospital takes that as a loss. This is why many hospitals lose money hand over fist.
Jabberwock December 02, 2011 at 06:16 PM
I'm not concerned about being turned away in an emergency situation, and of course, I hope that I don't have an emergency situation in the first place. With that said, it doesn't make any sense for me to "adjust my budget accordingly" because I might end up with an out-of-network deductable bill. I don't have that kind of expendable cash. What I'll do is see which area hospitals are in my network and take a cab to that hospital if I'm not in a life threatening emergency. It's just common sense. The difference between my $100 emergency copay and my $1500 out-of-network emergency deductable represents too big of a difference to shrug off and budget for. It's not an insurmountable inconvenience and, at this point, I'm keeping in mind that my inconvenience (and others that are no longer in-network) was one of the prices we paid to keep a luxury hi-rise condo complex out of Hoboken, at least, in the short run.
Redrider765 December 02, 2011 at 06:26 PM
Clearly that isn't what you knew when you posted at 8:59 AM. Glad you know now.
xtreme December 02, 2011 at 06:31 PM
Concerned - you're welcome. I'm glad I could help. Jabber - I agree that in your situation it would make sense for you to go to another facility. My point really is that it all depends on your carrier. I actually double checked my coverage just now; my provider would cover the same amount on the co-pay for both in and out of network emergency care once my annual deductible has been met. My out of network deductible is just higher so in my case I may be able to plan for it. It all depends on the provider.
greenhaven December 02, 2011 at 06:58 PM
Concerned - this is what you said: "So what insurance will the Hospital except? So if you are in an emergency crisis and they don't accept your insurance then you don't get treated? that is terrible." The statement made you appear uninformed, so people tried to educate you. You have now stated that you in fact knew all along that those needing emergency treatment would receive it. Thank you for clarifying that you actually knew the facts but chose to lie about them.
Eric Kurta December 02, 2011 at 07:24 PM
HUMC's financial difficulties are largely due to insufficient reimbursement by HMOs, not charity care for the uninsured. This is true of most small, stand-alone community hospitals. Negotiated reimbursement rates are often less than the cost of providing services. In the case of HUMC, the hospital was receiving something in the neighborhood of 80% of cost for insured patients. Having neither large volume or market share, hospitals like HUMC are forced to "take it or leave it" when presented with unfavorable reimbursement agreements. Rather than sitting by and waiting - hoping - that the new owners can reach new and better agreements with insurers, get your out-of-network insurer on the phone or write them a letter, and demand that they come to a fair and equitable agreement with the new owners of HUMC. Coming to an agreement with Horizon BCBS was a big first step. HUMC must improve its reimbursements from the other insurers or remain out of network. Otherwise, the outcome will not be much different than that of the Franciscan Sisters, Bon Secours, or HMHA/HHI.
Scott M. Siegel December 02, 2011 at 07:37 PM
They currently accept Blue Cross Horizon, the largest insurer in NJ. They are in negotiation with others. Typically when the biggest fish (think of GM) signs on, the others will follow.
Jabberwock December 02, 2011 at 08:08 PM
I get your sentiment, Eric - but, I think it is unlikely that letters or phone calls (into v/m hell) from clients of any particular out-of-network insurance carrier will have the slightest bit of impact on whether that insurer negotiates with HUMC or not. However, more power to anyone that wants to give it a whirl. Insurance companies are big business and it is about the bottom line with them. Most of the clients do not have the ability (or too much ability) to take their business elsewhere as most of them have the insurance plan offered by their employer so any "demands" are really hollow threats. I also understand that HUMC must improve it's reimbursements from other insurers or it can't remain in business. The flip side is that HUMC must attract business (patients) or it won't remain in business either. It is certainly a conundrum. Regardless, before my comment kicks off some kind of digression into a political snark, I think the hospital situation was a near impossible situation to untangle and appreciate the efforts of the board greatly.
greenhaven December 02, 2011 at 08:56 PM
There's no conundrum here. Attracting patients is only helpful business wise if you make money on them. That means that first you make an acceptable deal with the insurer - then you try to attract patients.
Jabberwock December 02, 2011 at 09:29 PM
Yes, there is a conundrum, GH. I get that it doesn't make sense to take 'customers' and loose money on them. The conundrum surrounds whether HUMC can reach an agreement with the insurers that allows them to make a profit. The insurers have no particular vested interest in whether HUMC survives. If they can't reach an agreement that is profitable for HUMC, HUMC cannot attract patients (that are out-of-network) and still cannot survive. Do you see HUMC's chances of survival as being assured if it only takes one type of insurance and, therefore, is unable to secure patients who have other types of insurance?
Rory Chadwick December 02, 2011 at 09:32 PM
Stick got a nice suit, guess he threw out the one for the walkway mall ribbon cutting after he read some of the comments lol.
BruceD December 02, 2011 at 11:30 PM
Instead of writing drivel and letting the world know your mental limitations, perhaps you should check with your carrier. What happens when you visit an out of netwrokf ER will depend on the plan that you have. The better the plan the better the coverage. Kind of like parking (another specious argument of late) - you pay for what you get. If you get the bare bones policy, then you may have some extra costs to pay. Any slight upgrade will allow you to visit ANY emergency room on and EMERGENCY basis and the plan will cover the expenses. Once stabilized and able, you may be asked to transfer to an in network hospital that is close. If you refuse, then you will have to pay some additional dollars. That is your decision if you chose not to move, but it is a perfectly reasonable request to be made by your carrier. I am sick of all this Mikey Babes hysteria about "They wont take my insurance" (for which he contributes NADA). Grow up, be an adult and accept some responsibility for managing your affairs.
BruceD December 02, 2011 at 11:36 PM
Be clear - only for elective procedures will they have to go elsewhere - either JC Medical, Palisdaes or Christ. God Bless the nuns, but they were not the best business negotiators and on top of the unfair contracts, the hospital has had a long track record of billing mismanagement. It will take some hard work to get it in the right direction and I am glad that the monkey is off the taxpayers back.
BruceD December 02, 2011 at 11:38 PM
Jabberpucky Please sell that tired old condo high rise story somewhere else. No one bought or is buying that tripe. Get over it, your guys blew themselves to smithereens with their idiotic opposition to the sale.
BruceD December 02, 2011 at 11:42 PM
Green Pay no attention - just another sore loser still trying to wring some spin out of eh losing opposition to the sale of the hospital. If "concerned" was really "concerned, then "concerned" would have already consulted with its carrier to determine what happens. It is despicable that these cretins keep trying to scare people and use the hospital as some kind of political pawn in their losing battle to maintain their corrupt lifestyle.
Jabberwock December 03, 2011 at 03:16 AM
Who is the Knthoboken person? Are these childish obnoxious fight-picking comments necessary? That be one angry b1tch, for no apparent reason.
cassandra December 03, 2011 at 08:23 AM
My guess is that khoboken is an alternate screen name for someone else who posts on this site. Allows quasi simultaneous mudslinging and apparently rational comments. Standard machine propaganda technique.
Journey December 03, 2011 at 02:04 PM
And what is your other id?
InfotainMe December 03, 2011 at 02:16 PM
You mean like when Klaussen logged on here the other day as facebook101 telling everyone how to shutdown the Facebook page for Occupy HPU, then logged on to Occupy HPU as Hoboken411 and said city attorneys were trying to close the site? Ya mean like that?
BruceD December 03, 2011 at 04:14 PM
cASSandra and Jaberdonkey How sweet, a budding khoboken fan club. I am sure TS will love to join., Jabberpucky, love he screen name and what it stands for - jibberish. Please dont pee on m,y leg and tell me you were just "chatting" about the hospital when you did not miss an opportunity to randomly sprinkle your posts with the Axis of No talking points on the hospital, I repeat that I find it odious that anyone would try and scare people about access to medical services to try and score political points. Instead of yammering about the plans that are accepted, think about the fact that there is actually an operating hospital, thanks to TT and the Maoyor. If your friends had their way, then the doors would be shut and the taxpayers stuck with 52M. So go spew your jabberwock elsewhere. cASSandra - there is nothing to be said about or to the head cheerleader/apologist for corruption in Hoboken government. Now the tow of you, please go play with yourselves, exxcessively.
Jabberwock December 03, 2011 at 06:04 PM
....and look - Knthoboken can't spell/type: (m,y - tow of you - jibberish - exxcessively) - and dumb to boot, (knthoboken thinks she knows what the screen name means...so dumb, so pathetically dumb and the Kentucky Derby is a hat, right?) - Oh, wait, I get it. Busy trying to make sure there is absolutely no discourse of any kind. What an absolute insult to any sort of reform in this city. In the future, in the hope of maintaining some sort of reasonable discourse online, responses to this piece of mildew will brief. Suggest others in the online community follow suit so this cancer can be cut out.

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