Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Hospital Facing More N.J. Fines

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Hospital Facing More N.J. Fines

Article excerpt

The state has fined the owners of Meadowlands Hospital Medical Center in Secaucus $92,000 for two late and missing financial reports required as a condition of the approval of the hospital's 2010 sale to a for-profit investment group. A third report -- on last year's finances -- also is overdue.

The lapses are part of a chain of "persistent failures" to abide by the terms of the sale of the 200-bed hospital to MHA LLC, an investment group headed by Richard Lipsky, Tamara Dunaev and two others, according to a regulatory letter last month from an assistant commissioner of health.

The state has offset its Medicaid reimbursements to Meadowlands to collect $12,000 and plans to collect $40,000 more that way, said Donna Leusner, a health department spokeswoman. Another $40,000 in fines is still outstanding, she said. The hospital had $91.1 million in revenue in 2012, the last year for which information is available.

Al Gaburo, a spokesman for the hospital, said it "plans on submitting both the 2013 and 2014 audited financial statements together by the end of summer." Under the current ownership, the medical center "continues to improve in all areas of the business," he said.

As one of a growing number of hospitals in New Jersey under for- profit ownership, Meadowlands is required by federal law to disclose considerably less about its finances than New Jersey's non-profit hospitals, which file detailed tax returns as a condition of their tax exemption. The state health department has attempted to require more disclosure -- and help its own monitoring efforts -- through conditions it imposes on sales of non-profit hospitals to for- profit companies. But its ability to enforce those requirements has been tested by Meadowlands.

When Meadowlands did provide financial information -- about 2011 and 2012, its first two years under new ownership -- it showed that $16. …

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