Healthcare union calls on state to send in monitoring team to Meadowlands Hospital
Sep 13, 2012 | 2776 views | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
SECAUCUS AND BEYOND -- The state's largest union of nurses and health care workers on Sept. 13 called on the NJ Department of Health to place a monitoring team at Meadowlands Hospital in Secaucus, they said in a press statement Thursday.

They claimed that the request is meant to make sure the hospital does not violate laws meant to protect patients and caregivers.

A report released today by the Health Professionals and Allied Employees, “Meadowlands Hospital and NJ: Failures of Oversight Put Profits Before Patients at a Community Hospital,” details 20 months of operation, inspections, citations and lawsuits since MHA, a for-profit, private company, purchased Meadowlands Hospital from LibertyHealth in December of 2010.

The report describes MHA as a complicated company structure with four principals, two dozen passive investors, and at least 11 different ‘affiliated’ companies, including a video gaming company, surgery centers, an orphan drug company, a medical marijuana group, and adult day care center.

Last year the state investigated the hospital after ongoing union complaints. The state released a 25-page report listing procedural and policy-related deficiencies. MHMC issued a correction action plan to those address health violations.

MHMC was also under investigation by the state Department of Labor because a draft financial audit revealed that the hospital defaulted on a loan and overdrew a bank account by $1 million in 2011, despite posting a 10 percent profit and paying investors $8.4 million

“Transparency and oversight are critical in the health care industry and we rely on our state agencies to protect the public health and safety and public funding at all of our hospitals,” said Ann Twomey, president of the 12,000 member HPAE in a statement. HPAE represents the 400 nurses and healthcare workers at Meadowlands Hospital. “It’s time for a team of monitors to go into Meadowlands Hospital to make sure that patients are safe, that public funds are being spent wisely, and that nurses and health care workers are able to work without the atmosphere of intimidation that has been created by these owners.”

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