Campaign to Protect Community Hospitals

Over the past decade, New Jersey has lost far too many local community hospitals, the place of last resort health care for the poor and underserved. Under financial stress, these community hospitals, once committed to meeting community needs, are bought up by for-profit companies and transformed into money making ventures. They make dramatic cuts to nursing and other support staff, and take the hospital out of insurance networks so they can charge anything they want – for even routine and simple services. Companies like CarePoint in Hudson County have gotten rich with these practices, to the detriment of local communities, driving up the cost of health care for everyone in New Jersey.

The New Jersey Citizen Action Education Fund is working with our partners in the Campaign for Community Health Care to fight the sale of community hospitals to for-profit health care chains that employ these anti-consumer and anti-community practices. In alliance with nurses and other hospital medical staff, local community leaders, and community residents, we are working to educate policymakers, including the state Department of Health and the NJ Attorney General, on the need to enforce pro-community pro-consumer conditions before approving any sale of a community hospital, or reject the bid. Among other things, we are educating policymakers on the need to keep the hospital within insurance networks and maintain safe staffing levels, as well as pledge to keep the hospital and all its services open and available.

In Passaic City, we worked closely with the community and won a major victory over Prime Health Care Corp, notorious for refusing to keep their hospitals in network, when we opposed the sale of St. Mary’s and reached out to the state Department of Health and the Attorney General, educating them on the need for pro-consumer conditions on the sale of that hospital to Prime. Now, Prime wants to buy St. Michael’s in Newark and we’re once again working to educate policymakers at every level to support pro-community and pro-consumer conditions on this sale.

The health of our communities is not for sale!

For more information contact India Larrier at india@njcitizenaction.org