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Lakewood, NJ - Kimball Medical Center Denies Talk of Closing But Acknowledges $8M Deficit

Published on: December 14, 2008 03:02 PM
By: APP
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The 95-year-old Kimball Medical Center in Lakewood has 350 beds and employs nearly 1,000 workers and more than 450 physi- cians. [photo credit app]The 95-year-old Kimball Medical Center in Lakewood has 350 beds and employs nearly 1,000 workers and more than 450 physi- cians. [photo credit app]

Lakewood, NJ - Facing an $8 million loss this year, Kimball Medical Center is being considered for closure, a national bond rating service reported, as the hospital’s parent company Saint Barnabas Health Care System tries to haul itself from the red by 2009.

A Kimball representative denied the claim.
“Kimball Medical Center is not closing,” the hospital’s executive director, Joe Hicks, said in an e-mailed statement, while acknowledging the $8 million deficit. “These are extremely difficult times in the health care industry, and we continue to look at all avenues to reduce expenses and maintain quality and efficiency.”

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The hospital administration did lay off two employees who were “selected in order to retain care at the bedside and did not affect any programs or services,” he said.
Hicks did not say whether further reductions were expected.

Saint Barnabas, the largest health care system in the state, has lost $52.5 million in the last three years. That, coupled with the continuing burden of paying off a six-year, $265 million settlement over federal Medicare fraud charges, has forced management to draw up a plan to cut $70 to $80 million in expenses by 2009, according to MarketWatch, a financial information Web site.

Recently, Fitch Ratings downgraded Saint Barnabas’s bonds to below “noninvestment grade,” said Carolyn Tain, senior director at Fitch, which evaluates credit ratings of companies.
Tain said Fitch was told by Saint Barnabas Chief Finacial Officier Tom Scott that management is considering the options of closing Kimball, selling it or giving it to Lakewood.

Lakewood Mayor Raymond Coles said the township’s budget could never support a takeover of Kimball. Shutting it down, he said, “would be devastating not only for our residents but for the surrounding hospitals like Brick (Ocean Medical Center) and Community (Medical Center in Toms River) that would have to assume so much of that charity care that Kimball now absorbs.”

The 95-year-old hospital has 350 beds and employs nearly 1,000 workers and more than 450 physicians.

State Sen. and Township Committeeman Robert Singer, who until recently was a Kimball board member, said he has not heard any discussion about closing Kimball.
“If you notice, the $44 million from the state — they gave that to critical hospitals that can’t close. That’s a tell-tale sign,” he said, referring to money the state gave six financially distressed hospitals this month, of which Kimball received $1 million.

Marilyn Riley, spokeswomen for the state’s Department of Health and Senior Services, said the hospital has not filed a Certificate of Need to close.
“And beyond that I can’t speculate,” she said.

Hicks said, the loss is directly related to the extreme shortfall in reimbursement from the state and federal government for the care it provides to Medicare, Medicaid and Charity Care patients,” Hicks wrote in an e-mail.
Saint Barnabas reports it is reimbursed less than half of the more than $120 million it spends on charity care.


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1

 Dec 14, 2008 at 04:04 PM yente Says:

2 people???? they were trying to save $8M by firing 2 people???? Don't you worry, BMG will have this building bought in no time for more dorms and batei midrashim. who needs a hospital like kimball anyway? i wouldn't send my goldfish there. besides, torah is magain on the city. we don't need hospitals, we need more batei midrashim!!!!

2

 Dec 14, 2008 at 05:01 PM Expatriate Owl Says:

Yente [Comment #1}:

Next time you get sick with chest pains, call a rabbi.

3

 Dec 14, 2008 at 04:45 PM bitachon Says:

There are many women from lakewood who are employed there. Many frum people use kimball as clients such as cleaning supplies and surgical supplies.
It is high a few developers bring in big business into the neighborhood to help employ more people and building a hospital that employes many would be amazing. Didn't the Kloisenberger Rebbe build a medical empire?!
One thing though, please don't build a town hospital. It has to be able laamod beruach metzuyah

4

 Dec 14, 2008 at 05:22 PM random people Says:

yeah yente keep ur unintelligent and uncalled for comments to yourself....
kimball has helped many people in different cases of emergency dont be a kofer tov!

5

 Dec 14, 2008 at 05:46 PM Anonymous Says:

kimball is needed for the "bubu" calls or for the cases that cant get to jersey shore in time. The ER staff are extremly nice and work extremely close with Lakewood's Bikur Cholim. There is good there but not for extremly serious situations and long term care.

The surronnding hospitals could never take over the traffic that would usualy go to KIMBALL. As it is in the winter you could wait 10-15 hours to get through the ER at Jersey Shore.

Jersey SHore is important for its Trauma Dept when they are willing to open it on a case by case situtation that they feel its needed. Not what Hatazala or the Paramaedics thinks. And they also dont know or will not admit when to say they dont have experience in certain casesand usualy make it difficult for families who wish to transport to a better facility.

Bottom line if its serious go to NY or Phily if its a child.

6

 Dec 14, 2008 at 07:21 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #2  
Expatriate Owl Says:

Yente [Comment #1}:

Next time you get sick with chest pains, call a rabbi.

I definitely would call a rabbi too (if not first). You can call only a doctor if you believe he's the one thaty will save your life.

7

 Dec 14, 2008 at 07:36 PM yente Says:

Reply to #2  
Expatriate Owl Says:

Yente [Comment #1}:

Next time you get sick with chest pains, call a rabbi.

FYI, I do call a rabbi if I have chest pains - but why are you concerned about my chest????? I am not a kofui tov. If the hospital is interested in building up, I will be there to help. But to continue @ this pace with this deficit, the bandaids are going to run out and the wait will be longer. Unfortunately, I also don't know how long the fruma women will be employed.

8

 Dec 14, 2008 at 10:10 PM Anonymous Says:

Its all the ilegal aliens which get free care which are causing this....

9

 Dec 14, 2008 at 10:06 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #5  
Anonymous Says:

kimball is needed for the "bubu" calls or for the cases that cant get to jersey shore in time. The ER staff are extremly nice and work extremely close with Lakewood's Bikur Cholim. There is good there but not for extremly serious situations and long term care.

The surronnding hospitals could never take over the traffic that would usualy go to KIMBALL. As it is in the winter you could wait 10-15 hours to get through the ER at Jersey Shore.

Jersey SHore is important for its Trauma Dept when they are willing to open it on a case by case situtation that they feel its needed. Not what Hatazala or the Paramaedics thinks. And they also dont know or will not admit when to say they dont have experience in certain casesand usualy make it difficult for families who wish to transport to a better facility.

Bottom line if its serious go to NY or Phily if its a child.

Please don't post comments when you don't know the first thing about medicine or hospitals.

10

 Dec 15, 2008 at 02:15 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #9  
Anonymous Says:

Please don't post comments when you don't know the first thing about medicine or hospitals.

well then why dont u enlighten us mr. knowitall??

11

 Dec 15, 2008 at 02:10 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #1  
yente Says:

2 people???? they were trying to save $8M by firing 2 people???? Don't you worry, BMG will have this building bought in no time for more dorms and batei midrashim. who needs a hospital like kimball anyway? i wouldn't send my goldfish there. besides, torah is magain on the city. we don't need hospitals, we need more batei midrashim!!!!

u meant to say that we need more soup kitchens and more gemachim. right??

12

 Dec 15, 2008 at 08:33 AM dovy Says:

Aaron Kotler is on the board of directors of Kimball and is a part owner of the geriatric ward

13

 Dec 15, 2008 at 12:51 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #10  
Anonymous Says:

well then why dont u enlighten us mr. knowitall??

Ask me a question and I'll answer it. KMC, Brick and Centrastate are all about the same. If you close one -the others will end up giving worse care because of over -crowding. JSMC is a level 2 trauma center. I'm sure you don't know what that means, but level one is the highest. All trauma centers have to do triage and exclude the minor trauma from their trauma dept. and put you in their regular ER or otherwise when they have a major trauma call their personnel wouldn't be around to handle it. So your broken arm isn't necessarily going to get better care in JSMC than KMC.

14

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