March 4, 2015
On Monday, March 2, the New Jersey Health Care Facilities Financing Authority released the long-awaited “Navigant” report providing an evaluation of healthcare services in the Greater Newark area and recommendations for consolidation and reorganization of services.
HPAE President Ann Twomey released the following statement after the report was published:
“This report makes clear the need for a comprehensive plan to make sure that healthcare services in the Newark area are aligned with the needs of the community—and that to accomplish that goal, we need our hospitals to collaborate, not compete. What is unclear is whether and how this report will be implemented as policy—and whether NJ will make the necessary investments to appropriately implement these proposals for the betterment of our residents without unnecessary disruption in care.
We agree that an individual sale of a hospital is not the answer, and we agree that the role of University Hospital should be expanded in meeting the needs of the Newark community in the future. We will continue to advocate for the voice and rights of both the community and health care professionals in any of the changes recommended, and for transparency and accountability in the process and outcome.”
The report makes a number of key recommendations that would have an impact on University Hospital:
1. Consolidate inpatient pediatrics and cardiovascular surgery services at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center.
2. Expand Broadway House’s role to include post-acute care.
3. Transform East Orange General Hospital and St. Michael’s Medical Center into ambulatory care facilities.
4. Develop a “state of the art” regional medical center in Newark that would entail:
-Functional and operational integration of Newark Beth and University Hospital;
-Expansion of the UH campus to accommodate Newark Beth’s inpatient services;
-Transformation of Newark Beth campus into ambulatory campus; and
-Formation of public-private partnership at University Hospital.
As we continue to evaluate the report and its recommendations, one thing is abundantly clear:the effort of our union to protect services and jobs for the Newark community at University Hospital during the reorganization of UMDNJ has paid off — otherwise UH may have been repurposed as an ambulatory care campus.
There are many troubling unanswered questions, however, if implemented properly, University Hospital may benefit from some of the report’s recommendations. It is up to us to ensure that happens.