Answers to many of the questions you may have about the pending acquisition of Christ Hospital.
Prime Healthcare is an Outstanding Health Care System
- Prime is an innovative, successful and rapidly expanding health system that has been cited for its excellence in patient care delivery, particularly in the area of charity care.
- Thomson Reuters ranked Prime as one of the Top 10 Health Systems in its 2009 survey of more than 252 health systems nationwide. They were the only for-profit hospital on the list.
- Thomson Reuters found Prime to have significantly lower mortality rates, lower average length of stay and excellent core measure quality reporting.
- The average length of stay at Prime’s hospitals is below the national and state averages.
- The average time for a patient to be seen in an Emergency Department at a Prime hospital is 20 minutes. According to Press Ganey, a consultant for more than 40 percent of hospitals in the U.S., the national average is nearly twice as long.
- At Prime facilities, the average door-to-treatment-to-discharge time frame is two hours. In New Jersey, the report found it to be more than twice that — 4 hours and 12 minutes, according to the Bergen Record.
- Five Prime Hospitals were all ranked as Best in Value Award Winners in Data Advantage’s 2009-2010 Hospital Value Index.
- Prime Hospital West Anaheim Medical Center was ranked #1 in Value in the State of California.
Christ Hospital Needs this Transaction to Sustain Services
- This is about nothing less than ensuring the short and long term viability of an essential, safety-net hospital in the state’s second-largest city. Prime has agreed to operate the hospital as an acute care hospital for no less than five years and maintain the essential health care services, including emergency services, medical/surgical, cardiac, outpatient and labor and delivery.
- Christ Hospital has been serving the community for nearly 140 years. Without this transaction, it will not have the financial stability to maintain and enhance access to services for those in need.
- Nearly 1,500 jobs will be lost if the hospital closes, and patient care will be in immediate jeopardy.
- Christ Hospital provides Behavioral Health services not available anywhere else in the county. These include the Hudson County Rape Crisis Program, the Ryan White mental health and substance abuse counseling services for patients with HIV and AIDS, and the Adolescent Treatment Program. These programs will no longer be available if the hospital closes.
- Christ Hospital is one of only two hospitals that provide radiation therapy for cancer patients, and it provides extensive screening programs. A lack of access to cancer screenings and oncology services has already been cited by the Cancer Coalition of Hudson County as a major problem due to poverty, lack of insurance, and under-insurance. Failure to approve this deal will exacerbate this existing problem.
- Christ Hospital’s Emergency Room provided care to approximately 50,000 patients in 2010, with six out of every ten of these patients having Medicaid or being uninsured. There would be simply nowhere else for those patients to go, and a crisis would ensue.
Christ Hospital will be able to Better Serve the Community with the Resources Prime will Invest:
- Prime has agreed to invest a desperately needed $35 million in capital and working capital. $15 million of that will be invested in the first 18 months alone.
- These dollars will upgrade infrastructure and technology at the hospital. The first investment Prime will make is upgrades to the outdated and overstretched Emergency Room which was designed to handle 19,000 patients per year and now handles nearly 50,000 patients in the same timeframe.
- Not only will this transaction not diminish the quality and accessibility of care, but it will strengthen the hospital’s balance sheet, cash on hand and cash flow.
- This will increase the availability of services the community desperately needs, and relies on every day at Christ Hospital.
- Prime Healthcare Services has saved 11 hospitals, keeping them open to provide health care in under-served communities.
Prime is Fully Committed to Charity Care Delivery and Meeting the Needs of the Underserved
- Prime has committed to maintain Charity Care delivery at Christ Hospital at least to the levels provided prior to assuming control. This is a promise the community can bank on, given Prime’s record.
- Their commitment to Charity Care extends to all of their hospitals. For example, when two formerly non-profit hospitals were acquired by Prime and converted to for-profit status, Prime made the same promise to the California Attorney General. Both hospitals have met — and then exceeded — that commitment, providing more Charity Care than when the hospital was a non-profit.
- Here are the facts: Sherman Oaks Hospital provided $15.6 million in Charity Care in 2006 after the January 2006 acquisition by Prime. It provided only $1.7 million the year before.
- Paradise Valley Hospital provided $22 million in Charity Care in 2009 after Prime’s 2007 acquisition. In 2006, before Prime, it provided less than half that amount — $9 million.
- Overall, Prime’s 12 for-profit hospitals in California had nearly $285 million in Charity Care expenses in 2009 and 2010, $180 million in 2009 alone. Their commitment to the under-served is unquestioned.
The Acquisition Means Jobs for Jersey City
- Without this acquisition, the hospital could close — forcing mass layoffs. This acquisition will preserve jobs.
- The new infrastructure investment at Christ Hospital, via the Prime acquisition, will be spent in Jersey City, meaning many new temporary construction jobs will also be created, and hundreds of thousands of dollars paid to local vendors during this most challenging economic climate.
A Prime Acquisition means New Local Tax Revenue for Jersey City, Hudson County and the State of New Jersey.
- As a non-profit, Christ Hospital currently pays nothing in taxes to the city or county.
- After the change in status, Christ Hospital will pay approximately $1 million per year in local taxes. At a time of fiscal crisis in this city, this will relieve some of the property tax burden from local homeowners and help the city and county provide the basic services we need, such as police protection and infrastructure upgrades.
Prime’s For-Profit Status is Not Relevant to the Ongoing Department of Health Review
Commissioner O’Dowd has made this clear. In her letter approving the Hoboken University Medical Center Transfer of Ownership dated November 2, 2011, she states:
“As I believe is appropriate, neither staff nor the State Health Planning Board has ever determined that the for-profit status of an entity is one that is relevant in the review of the Certificate of Need or licensing applications. In other areas of health care licensing such as long term care, we see primarily for-profit ownership. There is also no statutory or regulatory authority for treating for-profit and not-for-profit entities differently in Certificate of Need or licensing reviews.”