The second of two ownership takeovers by LHP Hospital Group and Hackensack University Health Network was confirmed Friday, as Department of Health and Senior Services Commissioner Mary O'Dowd approved the joint venture's certificate of need to transfer ownership of Mountainside Hospital.
The transition to ownership of Mountainside was much less contentious than the first of the group's projects — getting approval to reopen Pascack Valley's hospital under the Hackensack name. While the Pascack project took four years to complete, the Mountainside deal was announced this past February and is expected to close by the end of next month.
For Plano, Texas-based LHP, having AtlantiCare President-emeritus George Lynn on the board from the beginning has strengthened company ties to New Jersey — and given insight into the state regulatory system.
"You can either merge into another system and forfeit your identity and relationship with your community, or you can sell and the same thing happens," Lynn told NJBIZ earlier this year. "In LHP's model, you can partner and retain that community relationship."
Dan Moen, CEO of LHP, said in the announcement of the approval that the joint venture — called Montclair Health System LLC — intends "to continue the best of what Mountainside represents while investing and building for the future."
Mountainside, which has been in operation for 120 years, has been a for-profit hospital since 2007, and had been owned by Merit Health Systems, based in Kentucky.