Independent monitor to oversee New Jersey hospital's finances after 4-notch downgrade by Fitch

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy issued an executive order directing the state's health commissioner to appoint an independent monitor to oversee expenditures and the level of care provided at University Hospital in Newark, N.J.

The action comes after the public hospital's bond rating was downgraded four notches by Fitch Ratings due to financial difficulties. The hospital also recently received a failing grade on quality of care from the Leapfrog Group and attempted to reduce its pediatric bed count without state approval, according to a press release from Mr. Murphy's office.

"Given the scope of the problems found at University Hospital, these immediate actions are necessary to ensure the facility can continue providing the highest level of care to the community while it gets its fiscal house in order and improves its healthcare quality,’" said Mr. Murphy.

New Jersey Health Commissioner Shereef Elnahal, MD, appointed Judy Persichilli, BSN, RN, to serve as monitor. Ms. Persichilli is a veteran healthcare executive who most recently served as president of Livonia, Mich.-based CHE Trinity Health.

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