‘New’ HUMC will care about profits, not people

Dear Editor:
The potential sale of HUMC to the current owners of the Bayonne Medical Center is a bad deal for the residents of Hoboken. HUMC is breaking even at this point, and even though it’s still a risk to the taxpayer, the actual losses if things went belly up would be offset by the value of the property and sale of any other assets. The city may be off the hook, but anyone who gets sick will be on the hook for extra costs and decreased quality of care. In other words, the risks will be privatized.
The profit part of the for-profit hospital will be money taken out of the community.
For profit hospitals are more concerned with the well being of their stockholders than their patients, and increase their profits by cutting staff, lowering the quality of services, raising prices, dumping the poor, and refusing to accept insurance. I’d be curious to know how many people got laid off and whether services were cut after this company took over the Bayonne Medical Center.
As your article states, the Bayonne Medical Center only gets a 37 percent approval rating from its patients. That’s 30 percent less that the HUMC ratings. That in itself should nix the deal, except that according to Toni Tomarazzo, there are three goals for the sale, and they don’t include quality of care. Shouldn’t that be a primary factor in deciding what should become of this essential service? Is this the “record of good management” to which Ms Tomarazzo refers?
In your article, Tomarazzo says that the authority must continue to have the negotiations in private. Then your article states that, “Since the negotiations are ongoing, much of the information will not be released until after the deal takes place.” Finally, Tomarazzo says, “We will continue to make this an open process.” Is there something I’m not understanding here?
So anyone with BCBS, or other rejected insurance companies, including Hoboken City employees, will pay considerably more out of pocket for medical care, the quality of care will plummet and jobs will be lost. I would prefer a community owned hospital whose primary concerns were patient care, financial solvency and providing jobs to a private entity whose corporate mandate is short term profits.

Greg Ribot

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