Bergen County officials celebrated the announcement Friday of a new nonprofit operator of the beleaguered for-profit Bergen Regional Medical Center in Paramus, marking a new era for the facility and a possible large-scale reorganization of the more than 1,700 employees.Bergen County officials celebrated the announcement Friday of a new nonprofit operator of the beleaguered for-profit Bergen Regional Medical Center in Paramus, marking a new era for the facility and a possible large-scale reorganization of the more than 1,700 employees.
The current operator, Colorado-based Solomon Health Group — a for-profit entity — will turn over the hospital to an incorporated non-profit that includes three subcontractors including Care Plus NJ, Rutgers New Jersey Medical School and Newark-based Integrity House on Oct. 1.
Care Plus and Rutgers have an existing relationship with the facility, according to a 2015 company report. Care Plus will lead the three-part team, which will be known as Care Plus Bergen.
Bergen Regional is a county-owned, 1,000-bed health care facility that provides acute care, behavioral health, long-term care and other related services. It is the fourth-largest publically owned hospital in the country.
The current 20-year contract to operate the center on county-owned land expired March 15, but the county issued an executive order to extend the existing lease until Sept. 30.
Care Plus, a mental health provider in northern New Jersey, intends to change the name of the facility, possibly to Crossroads Medical Center. In its proposal late last year, Care Plus said it intends to change the model of care provided at the hospital today.
“We’re looking beyond the case-by-case treatment model that is employed today,” said Care Plus NJ CEO and President Joseph Masciandaro. “Our goal is to create a new, coordinated model of care that works within the community to provide prevention, intervention, treatment and, most importantly, aftercare — all with the goals of promoting longstanding health and recovery, and reducing repeated hospitalizations.”
Reports of violence, and a 2015 inspection from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration, resulted in a settlement in June — months after the BRMC team was supposed to be out, and just a month before the announcement of a new operator.
“While OSHA provided BRMC with a framework to better protect employees, a February 2015 agency inspection found BRMC’s workplace violence program to be inadequate in that workplace violence hazards had not been addressed effectively, and in that the workers’ safety and health continued to be jeopardized due to exposure to workplace violence,” OSHA said in a statement.
Rutgers New Jersey Medical School will oversee ambulatory care operations and provide clinical and physician leadership, along with a full-time chief Medical officer, part-time chief medical informatics officer, full time vice president of ambulatory practice and part-time chief strategy officer.
Integrity will manage substance abuse services, including inpatient detox, residential care and outpatient services.