Solaris Health System, Edison, N.J., closed acute-care services at Muhlenberg Regional Medical Center, North Plainfield, N.J., citing the 278-bed hospitals financial losses. Outpatient care, including imaging, dialysis, home care, laboratory and diabetes services, and a satellite emergency room remain open, said Steven Weiss, a Solaris spokesman.
Weiss blamed Muhlenbergs distress on competition for privately insured patients from ambulatory centers; costs that exceeded payments from commercial insurers and state subsidies for the uninsured; and discontinued New Jersey grants to offset charity-care costs. It was really the economics, he said. Muhlenberg lost $2.5 million on revenue of $149.6 million in 2006, the hospital reported on a 2006 filing with the Internal Revenue Service. The prior year, the hospital reported a net gain of $2.3 million on $142.9 million in revenue, but losses in 2004 and 2003 of $1.8 million and $5 million, respectively. -- by Melanie Evans