A certificate of need application filed by Hackensack University Medical Center and LHP Hospital Group Inc. to take ownership of Mountainside Hospital, in Montclair, was deemed complete by the state on Monday, with a public hearing scheduled for April 19, a Department of Health and Senior Services spokeswoman said.
The joint venture, which is the same for-profit group reopening Pascack Valley Hospital, filed the application with the DHSS on Feb. 1, in hopes of transferring ownership of the 365-bed for-profit hospital from Kentucky-based Merit Health Systems LLC.
Since that date, the DHSS has reviewed the application, collected additional facts from the group – called Montclair Health System LLC – about the services they hope to offer, consulted with other state departments as necessary and re-reviewed it before deeming it complete, according to DHSS communications director Donna Leusner.
“A certificate of need is really an application, just like one to open a hospital, so it’s absolutely normal to have a public hearing,” Leusner said. “The hearing gives applicants the opportunity to come in and talk about why they do or do not want to be approved. It also provides the opportunity for anyone in the community to voice their support or opposition to it.”
The public hearing for Montclair Health System LLC’s complete certificate of need application will take place before the State Health Planning Board in Glen Ridge High School at 6 p.m. on April 19. After the public hearing, the planning board will hold a separate hearing, vote on the application and await Commissioner Mary E. O’Dowd‘s decision, Leusner said. Hackensack UMC
President and CEO Robert C. Garrett and LHP President and CEO Dan Moen said in a joint statement today that they hope the State Health Planning Board will review their application in May.