PHILADELPHIA--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Pennsylvania Association of Staff Nurses and Allied Professionals (PASNAP) denounces efforts by a Thomas Jefferson University Hospital-led coalition of area health systems to profit from the closure of Hahnemann University Hospital. In addition to Jefferson, the coalition includes Albert Einstein Medical Center, Cooper University Hospital, Temple University Hospital, Main Line Health, and Christiana Care.
The union, which has represented 800 registered nurses at Hahnemann, notes that funding for Hahnemann’s physician residency slots are paid with government dollars and that such funding is tied to Hahnemann. This position is consistent with that of the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS), which on August 5th filed an objection to the sale of the Resident Program Assets.
The Jefferson-led coalition won a bidding war late Thursday night, promising over $50 million for the Hahnemann physician residency program contingent upon federal government approval. The group outbid a buyer seeking to purchase Hahnemann and keep it open while maintaining the physician residency program at Hahnemann.
Physician residencies are paid with taxpayer dollars, and amount to more than $100,000 per resident per year. There is a legal process in place for hospitals attempting to increase the number of residents that they employ in an approved medical residency training program; they go to the government and seek approval.
“The law simply does not allow a hospital unaffiliated with Hahnemann to employ Hahnemann residents and get their funding,” said Lisa Leshinski, executive director of PASNAP. “The question is why this group is willing to pay $50 million instead of going through the official legal process?”
Jefferson’s statement with other partners that the acquisition “ensures access to patient care services” fails to mention the harm to patient care that will result from the closure of Hahnemann. Such a closure is guaranteed by the proposed sale of the hospital’s residency program.
“As nurses our number one concern is for the community that has been cared for at Hahnemann,” said Maureen May, RN, President of PASNAP. “If we allow the sale of a residency program like this, what is to stop big businesses from doing the same at safety-net hospitals around the country? The message we are sending is that a hospital is worth more in parts than as a whole.”
The union has called on CMS to maintain its objections to Jefferson’s proposed acquisition, and to only approve a sale of the “Resident Program Assets” to an entity that commits to operating Hahnemann.