Camden's patient history
The history of Camden's attempts to get a full medical school continues to offer plenty of intrigue.
Grapevine recently was reminded of an independent study in 2008 to determine if Cooper Health System was in a position to start a medical school and have it accredited.
The project was feasible, according to the study, which was presented to William Owen, then-UMDNJ chief, and Jon Corzine. Owen selected three former medical school deans from around the United States to vet the study and visit Camden in spring 2009 to assess the readiness of Cooper and the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School campus in Camden, according to a source. The trio concluded that Cooper and the RWJ campus were better prepared than any of the known applicants around the country — a result that the source believes shocked Owen and his team, but UMDNJ was not ready to move forward on a full medical school in Camden.
The Camden contingent, led by George Norcross and John Sheridan, turned to a highly interested Rowan University instead, and the rest is history.
Brokers bolting BGC
Only about a quarter of the brokers that made up Grubb & Ellis' two New Jersey offices were still with the company as of last week, a month after the firm was acquired by BGC Partners Inc.
A source with knowledge of the situation said roughly 30 brokers had worked at the Grubb offices, in Edison and Fairfield, but only eight have remained. The other brokers either had left or were terminated when BGC closed on the purchase of the firm on April 13, two months after Grubb declared bankruptcy.
The sale of the Santa Ana, Calif.-based firm sparked a legal challenge from dozens of its brokers, who were faced with losing commissions that had not yet been paid, according to documents filed with a federal bankruptcy court in New York. The brokers, including at least two from New Jersey, argued that they were entitled to the fees.
But the bankruptcy judge in late March dismissed the brokers' claims, ruling that Grubb and BGC were "free and clear" to complete the transaction, according to the documents.
Grubb has since been folded into Newmark Grubb Knight Frank, the new brand created by BGC after it acquired Newmark Knight Frank in October. It was not immediately clear what would happen to the former Grubb offices in Edison and Fairfield. A spokeswoman for BGC and Newmark declined to comment.
Exclusivity on the Horizon
The largest health insurer in the state may be more exclusive with the providers it contracts with.
In a letter from CEO Robert Marino to hospital executives around the state, Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey said it is creating insurance products for the state's new exchanges with "more constrained access targeted at the most price-sensitive consumers." The letter states that an "invitation to participate in a dedicated network for this price sensitive segment" would be arriving soon.
Marino also announced a new online transparency tool to let consumers view cost and quality information, as well as the first major update to the company's hospitals contract since 1992. He added the letter was intended to be background information for executives on what the insurer will be focusing on in the coming months.
Horizon declined to comment.
An old-fashioned news turf war may be brewing in Bergen County, as NJ.com, the online home of The Star-Ledger and multiple North Jersey weeklies, is recruiting multimedia journalists to cover Bergen — a market North Jersey Media Group, which publishes The Record, has owned for decades.
Record editor Martin Gottlieb, a former New York Times and Village Voice editor who began his career as a municipal reporter for The Record in the early 1970s, said he's taken note of NJ.com's hiring push.
"You can only wonder what they're doing," Gottlieb said. "If it turns out that there's more competition here, bring it on."
NJ.com's president declined to comment, though Gottlieb said his newspaper and the Ledger have a modern media relationship, pooling resources and sharing content.
Grapevine reports on the behind-the-scenes buzz in the business community. Contact Editor Sharon Waters at email@example.com.