Which hospital gets the most from its patients?
New Jersey’s largest ophthalmological hospital says it has more than enough patients to care for the growing demand for eye care.
But it doesn’t have enough money to pay its bills and must rely on private donations, said Dr. David J. Hoch, chairman of the Morristown Eye Care Association.
The hospital relies on a network of volunteers to help manage patients, and its staff can’t be expected to pay their own bills, he said.
“It’s a huge problem,” said Hoch.
“You have to rely on people volunteering.
We’re trying to get to that point where we can get our own patients.”
The Morriston Eye Care Board oversees the hospital’s operations.
The board approved a request by Morristons CEO Richard Fidler last week to reduce its staff by about 50 percent and reduce the hospital from about 4,500 to about 2,500.
The request is part of an effort to shrink the hospital to the size it needs to handle its growing patient numbers.
But the board said it can’t afford to reduce staff without increasing its costs.
In its request, the Morrisons board said its board has about $3.8 billion in reserves and $1.6 billion in assets, and it can use the savings to hire about 2 percent more people and $3 million more in debt.
The board also said it’s prepared to sell its headquarters at Morristo, N.J., to raise $50 million to pay for its debt payments and the closing of the hospital.