The deal signed on Dec. 28 will go into effect on Jan. 1, said spokesperson Paul Swibinski.
The deal took a significant step forward on Dec. 15 when Bridge Regional signed agreements that set up the final details of the agreement.
The purchase of St. Vincent's Hospital has received approval from the New York State Department of Health, which reviewed the financial situation.
St. Vincent's, which will operate under the name Richmond University Medical Center once the sale is complete, is being purchased from the St. Vincent's Catholic Medical Center for $15 million in cash, although because of other financial transactions involved in the sale, the actual cost is about $10 million.
The sale is being funded by CIT Healthcare LLC of Connecticut and involved no funding from Bayonne Medical Center, Swibinski said.
"The first day of operations will be Jan. 2," he said. "An official ribbon cutting ceremony will take place the following week."
Swibinski said this may be the first time a smaller hospital has purchased a larger hospital.
"But I cannot stress enough, no Bayonne Medical Center funds are involved, and the lender is supplying this money solely based on St. Vincent's Hospital," he said. While St. Vincent's Hospital (now RUMC) has a positive cash flow, he also stressed that no money will be going back to BMC.
"There will be some savings achieved through joint operations in planning, purchasing contracting and administration," he said.
Funding to help refinance BMC's dept and to do capital improvements will come from another source, an $80 million bond issued by the New Jersey Health Care Facilities Financing Authority, Swibinski said.
No connection between purchase and BMC cutbacks
The purchase of St. Vincent's comes at a time when BMC is facing shortfalls in predicted revenue and questions by critics that want to know if there is a connection between the sale and cut backs that have taken place at BMC over the last year.
Although bad feelings have simmered for more than a year as Bayonne Medical Center cut back on services, the Coalition to Save Bayonne Medical Center formed in August after the hospital administration announced that it would suspend maternity services and send expectant mothers to other hospitals.
Coalition members claimed the hospital was cutting back services in order to bolster its overall financial picture to enhance chances for the purchase of St. Vincent's Hospital on Staten Island.
Swibinski said the two are unconnected and said cut backs had to do with the fundamental problems hospitals face with declining patient base and cut backs in payments from insurance companies and other health payment groups.
BMC and Coalition hold talks
Reports that the BMC board of Trustees and the coalition have come to an agreement that would expand the board to allow two coalition members to sit on it are premature, said Coalition spokesperson Mary Jane Desmond.
Although meetings have taken place to try to bridge the differences between the two bodies, these have yet to come to an agreement.
City officials knowledgeable about the meetings - one of which took place in the offices of Mayor Joseph Doria - said a majority of Coalition members would not support an effort to have Doctor Barry Elkind and Tobi Ippolito appointed to an enlarged hospital Board of Directors.
"Reports that Chairman Herman Brockman rejected the deal for those doctors simply isn't true," said one city official. "The Coalition itself did not want those two doctors representing their interests on the board."
A coalition member who asked not to be identified confirmed this saying that a proposal to have Elkin and Ippolito appointed to the board did not get a second during a vote.
While reports also said compromise candidates for an expanded board include two other doctors, Mitchell Mutterperl and Lawrence Byrd has not yet been worked out.
Coalition members apparently feel that Elkind and Ippolito represent a "too angry" faction of the Coalition, and that many other members are seeking more moderate voices that can speak to issues the Coalition has been raising since last summer.
"I think there is some progress," Swibinski said, acknowledging the talks. "Everyone has the same goal, to make sure BMC there to provide quality medical care to people of Bayonne for many years to come."
He described the majority of coalition as "good people well intentioned and share the same goals," but he added "I don't think it is helpful for certain individuals to attack members of the board. This is not productive to do thing. That, of course, is a small number of coalition members."
Swibinski said Mayor Doria has been enormously helpful, bridge and board and coalition.
"He has been helping to address the hospital's financial problems, working with the state health department and other government agencies to help us close our deficit.