The company line at Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey is they have made "a commitment to continue the mission of Horizon Healthcare Innovations," according to Tom Vincz. Grapevine reported last week that some of the work of HHI is being reshuffled under the direction of Jim Albano, vice president of Healthcare Services.
But sources with knowledge of the situation said carrying out the mission of HHI will require approximately 20 fewer employees. As a result of the increased "efficiencies in reporting structure," two of the four units in HHI that had directly reported to Dr. Richard Popiel, former president and chief operating officer, will be dissolved and absorbed by the parent company. Most of the layoffs went into effect on June 1, but several employees will finish out the month at Horizon.
When asked about layoffs, Vincz said Horizon will not discuss personnel issues.
Negotiations near finish line
Bernie Ecclestone may have caught some off guard last week, when the Formula One chief suggested once again that next year's race in Hudson County could be delayed by a year. But one source said it should come as no surprise.
"This type of thing is to be expected in negotiation," the source said last week, after doubts about the event surfaced for the second time in as many months.
Ecclestone, the CEO of Formula One Management, told ESPNF1.com last week that organizers of the New Jersey race have missed deadlines on their contract, adding "I don't know if it's going to happen." He also said, "They are sorting things out internally with some of their funds."
A spokesman for Grand Prix of America at Port Imperial, the race organizer, said the group doesn't discuss financials but quickly dismissed Ecclestone's suggestion last week.
The ESPN website wasn't alone in reporting the whispers. F1cities.com seemed to be the first to report the latest round of Ecclestone doubts. The website reports on F1 races, including info about accommodations and restaurants. But there was a curious mention in one of its stories about "the mayor of Port Imperial." Is that Carl Goldberg? Does Weehawken's Richard Turner know about this? Was the website commenting on the recent arrest of the other real mayor, West New York's Felix Roque? Turns out F1cities.com is based in the United Kingdom, so they probably don't understand how this Jersey, with 566 municipalities, works.
Happy where he is
Some time ago, rumors abounded that Dr. Peter Amenta would leave his position as dean of UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, according to a tipster. But Amenta became heartened when he saw action being taken by the governor's commission on higher education, chaired by Sol Barer. Amenta became optimistic that something positive could occur and decided to stay at the medical school, despite being recruited by major institutions, according to the source.
The commission ultimately recommended that the medical school be moved to Rutgers.
Amenta declined to comment through a spokeswoman.
Big changes? Bank on it
C-suite executives at a large national bank with operations in New Jersey are investing more time and resources in traveling to Washington to speak with lawmakers and regulators about the increasing effects and burdens of the newest federal financial regulations, a source at the bank said. They also hope to shape regulations still to come under Dodd-Frank.
With thousands of pages of new laws on the books and reams of regulations still to be written, top-level bankers at the financial giant want to get their views on the record about the impact and unintended consequences the latest financial rules are having on the banking industry and consumers, the source said.
Living in the past
Robert Wood Johnson Medical School may seem to be in limbo while it's decided if the school will move from UMDNJ to Rutgers. The RWJMS website also seems to be stopped in time.
The webpage listing the school's board of overseers includes Elizabeth Christopherson as "executive director, NJN Public Television and Radio." The trip down memory lane continues with William F. Owen Jr. listed as "UMDNJ president."
Grapevine reports on the behind-the-scenes buzz in the business community. Contact Editor Sharon Waters at firstname.lastname@example.org.