Christ Hospital, As Expected, Files For Chapter 11 Reorganization

Five days after Christ Hospital’s Board of Trustees voted to authorize the nonprofit health facility to file for Chapter 11 “if necessary,” the hospital has in fact needed to go that route. The move comes after Prime Healthcare Services, the for-profit, California-based hospital chain withdrew their bid following an outcry from Hudson County residents and politicians concerned that the loss of a nonprofit health center would be problematic for the area.

The move to reorganize is seen as unnecessary to that other bidder for the financially struggling non-profit hospital, a group pairing Jersey City Medical Center with Community Healthcare Associates and that put a $104 million bid on the table.

But Geoff Curtiss, the chairman of the board for Christ Hospital, suggested the bid was insincere and that “it’s unclear the money is actually there.” He added that he “doesn’t know” why CHA would make a bid without having the money prepared, but that “people say things.”

Perhaps unsurprisingly, CHA’s managing partner, William Colgan, was “shocked” and “offended” by Curtiss’s assessment.

Colgan calls Curtiss’s claim “the furthest thing from the truth” and the group will continue their efforts to purchase the hospital now that it is in bankruptcy court.

“They’ve put the stake in the ground that that’s the path they chose,” he said of the decision. “A tremendous amount of value is pulled out of an institution when they file for bankruptcy. Historically I don’t think you’ll see less than $6 million in lost in the last four to five bankruptcies. The decision was criminal.”

“They absolute do not need to go through bankruptcy proceeding, they had financial needs and we told them we were prepared to meet their financial needs,” he said of a conversation that took place “on two days notice.”

Matt Hunger

is a former staff writer for the Jersey City Independent.