Weinberg: With Poor Marks On National Report Card, Closer Scrutiny Of For-Profit Hospitals Needed

Four of State’s Five For-Profit Hospitals Earn Lowest Grades in Benchmark Study; September Ratings Awaited

TRENTON – With the recent release of a benchmark national survey that graded hospitals nationwide, Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg today said the results should spur closer scrutiny of the state’s poorly graded for-profit hospitals in advance of a second set of marks expected in September.

Of New Jersey’s 71 hospitals, only five are for-profit. Three of those institutions – Bayonne Medical Center, Libertyhealth-Meadowlands Hospital Medical Center and Mountainside Hospital – received a grade of “C,” the lowest possible score. The most recent conversion to for-profit status, Hoboken University Medical Center, was given a “score pending” mark, meaning it would have scored below a “C” and is being given time to raise performance.

Statewide, 53 hospitals – 76 percent – received grades of “B” or better, 23 points above the national average. Among non-profits, 80 percent of hospitals met that mark. Among for-profits, that stood at only 20 percent – the state’s fifth for-profit hospital, Memorial Hospital of Salem County, received a “B.”

“As the number of for-profit hospitals on the horizon is increasing, this report makes it clear that we need to make sure we have the proper accountability in place,” said Weinberg (D-Bergen). “When four-out-of-five for-profits finish at the bottom of the pile, it certainly raises eyebrows among health-care experts and patients. The for-profit sector must take the time to right itself before the next set of rankings come out in September. We anxiously await those marks to see what progress is made – or, if not, what we need to do to make sure progress happens.”

The rankings were compiled by the Leapfrog Group, a national non-profit that has pushed for greater transparency in the health care sector.