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New Jersey officials slam Alaris Health owner for blocking hospital sale

Hudson County officials joined together March 9 to call out the owner of nursing home chain Alaris Health for blocking the sale of CarePoint Health's hospitals to potential buyers, according to NJ Biz.

CarePoint Health, based in Jersey City, N.J., owns three area hospitals: Bayonne (N.J.) Medical Center, Hoboken (N.J.) University Medical Center and Jersey City-based Christ Hospital.

West Orange, N.J.-based RWJBarnabas Health signed a letter of intent last October to buy two hospitals from CarePoint, including Christ Hospital and Hoboken University Medical Center.

Although negotiations between RWJBarnabas and CarePoint hit a standstill in February, the two parties reportedly have come to an agreement on the sale of the two hospitals.

But Avery Eisenreich, owner of Alaris Health, is blocking the transaction, according to The Jersey Journal.

Mr. Eisenreich owns a 25 percent stake in two of the hospitals, 70 percent of the land of Hoboken University Medical Center, 25 percent of the Christ Hospital property and 100 percent of Bayonne Medical Center's land, according to the Journal.

"We feel that we are at a point now that we waited long enough," Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop said during a news conference, according to the Journal. "It seems Barnabas and CarePoint have come to an agreement, and the last obstacle is the landlord Alaris, who is holding up the deal."

Mr. Fulop told the Journal that RWJBarnabas is looking to buy the land and facility for Hoboken University Medical Center, but Mr. Eisenreich is seeking about $300 million for the property that was sold to him for $50 million last year. 

State Sens. Brian Stack, Sandra Cunningham and Nicholas Sacco plan to introduce an eminent domain bill that will help ensure hospital real estate owners can't block hospitals from continuing to serve the community, according to the report.

"CarePoint's bankruptcy is imminent, and we no longer have the luxury of time to sit back and watch as the lives of residents and employees are detrimentally impacted,” Mr. Stack told NJ Biz. "Avery Eisenreich's continued obstruction of the sale of these hospitals is dangerous and reckless and continues to put lives at risk."

"We are hopeful that passing this bill paves the way for the Hoboken Hospital Property and Bayonne Hospital Property to be purchased from Avery Eisenreich by the cities," a statement from CarePoint reads. "This will allow RWJBH to finalize the Hoboken University Medical Center and Christ Hospital transactions."

Earlier this year, CarePoint sued Alaris Health, alleging it is interfering with its effort to sell its hospitals so that it can turn the facilities into a nursing home. 

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