Last week, the Hoboken Reporter published a letter by City Council President Ravinder Bhalla, in which he expressed his happiness with the services rendered by Hoboken University Medical Center during the birth of his child. As a Hoboken resident expecting my first child in a few months, I initially had hoped to deliver at HUMC, too. Unfortunately, late last year, early in my pregnancy, I learned that HUMC no longer accepts my insurance, and that the same is true for many other carriers.
Supposedly, HUMC is negotiating new rates with these carriers. Unwilling, and possibly unable, to shoulder the financial burden of seeking services at an out-of- network facility, I was forced to have all of my scans, and will most likely have to deliver, at Palisades Medical Center, the other facility where my doctors have privileges.
While I have been very happy with the level of care at Palisades, it is somewhat inconvenient to get there. Being Hoboken dwellers, my husband and I have avoided the expense and contortions of trying keep a car in town, which means that any trip to Palisades, including presumably while I am in labor, requires an expensive cab ride, a rental car, or a journey on New Jersey Transit.
I suspect similar stories can be told by many other Hoboken residents, who, like my husband and I, supported keeping HUMC in town, but now question the utility of a hospital that is no longer a financially feasible choice for most residents, even those with insurance. At the very least, it would be nice to receive some sort of progress update regarding the supposed negotiations between HUMC and the now out-of-network insurers, as it has been difficult to find information on this subject.
I congratulate Mr. Bhalla on the new addition to his family, and am pleased that he found good care available locally. I just wish that more than a small handful of Hoboken residents today had the opportunity to obtain the same at HUMC.
Amy C. Gross