The Federal Trade Commission has cleared the way for a third New Jersey hospital to join the giant New York Presbyterian Healthcare Network.
In the coming weeks, Palisades General Hospital, North Bergen, N.J., expects to complete discussions with the New York City-based network of 27 hospitals. The network's other New Jersey participants are Holy Name Hospital in Teaneck and Valley Hospital, Ridgewood.
Palisades is negotiating to become a "sponsored member" of the network. Under that structure, New York Presbyterian would get seats on the Palisades board and Palisades would be represented on the network board. The setup would not entail a full-asset merger.
"It's still not quite a done deal," said Dale Timmons Evanson, a spokeswoman for the 202-bed acute-care hospital. She could not provide additional details and said executives were unavailable for comment.
The deal apparently is far enough along for New York Presbyterian to have included Palisades as a "pending member" on a brochure distributed weeks ago with the 1997 annual reports of Presbyterian and New York hospitals. The two New York-based academic medical centers merged last Dec. 31.
Palisades' profits have been slipping in recent years, according to HCIA, a Baltimore-based provider of financial information. In 1997, net income dropped to $53,905 on net patient revenues of $64.8 million. That same year the hospital lost $293,234 on operations. A year earlier, Palisades recorded $329,623 net income on net patient revenues of nearly $67 million, and operating income was in the black at $213,673.
At one time, Palisades had considered creating a countywide healthcare system with Bayonne (N.J.) Hospital and Christ Hospital in Jersey City. Christ Hospital dropped out of the talks last spring (June 9, 1997, p. 34), and Bayonne became an affiliate of Florham Park, N.J.-based Atlantic Health System last December.