Sale of Newark's Saint Michael's Clears Another Hurdle

The sale of Saint Michael’s Medical Center in Newark to Prime Healthcare Services cleared yet another major milestone when the state Attorney General’s Office deemed its application complete, the hospital announced today.

The notice from acting state Attorney General Robert Lougy clears the way for a public hearing required by the Community Health Care Assets Protection Act. The attorney general will either make a recommendation supporting or opposing the proposed acquisition.

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The sale of Saint Michael's to Prime Healthcare Services cleared another major hurdle.

Last week, the state Department of Health deemed the Prime’s application for a Certificate of Need complete. A public hearing on the Certificate of Need has been scheduled for Dec. 15 from 6-8 p.m., at New Jersey Institute of Technology, Campus Center Atrium, 150 Bleeker Street in Newark.

After the hearing, the state Health Planning Board will meet early next year to consider the Certificate of Need application and make a recommendation to state Health Commissioner Cathleen D. Bennett, who must approve the sale.

“We are pleased to reach another significant milestone in our review process," said David A. Ricci, president and CEO, Saint Michael's Medical Center. “With the state Department of Health deeming our Certificate of Need application complete last week, we are further along in securing the sale to Prime than we have ever been before. I am looking forward to both public hearings and testifying about how vital Saint Michael's is to the community that we have served for more than 150 years.”

Prime first submitted applications to the state Attorney General’s Office and the state Health Department in April 2013. Hospital officials responded to eight rounds of extensive follow-up questions from the Health Department before receiving word of the application’s completeness on Dec. 1.

Since the applications were filed, Saint Michael’s voluntarily filed in August for reorganization under Chapter 11, an action Prime agreed was necessary to preserve the medical center’s financial viability following the protracted application process.

Last month, U.S Bankruptcy Court Judge Vincent F. Papalia approved Prime’s $62 million offer to buy the hospital.

As part of its offer, Prime has agreed to hire substantially all 1,400 hospital employees, invest $50 million to upgrade the facilities and equipment at the hospital over the next five years, maintain or increase current levels of charity care, and maintain existing health insurance contracts.

“Prime Healthcare is thrilled by this latest development that now clears the way for a dialog with the community,” said Luis Leon, President of Operations II of Prime Healthcare Services. “We remain fully committed to continuing the legacy of Saint Michael’s and ensuring the community is afforded the best patient care while upholding the traditions of the medical center.”

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