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Valley Hospital Physicians Shine on (201) Family’s Top Doctors List


December 14,2015

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, (201) Family magazine has named 45 doctors from The Valley Hospital’s Medical staff to its “Top Doctors” list.

In order to select these exceptional physicians, MSP Communications completed an extensive, multistep vetting process. Candidates were initially identified through research and the recommendations of other physicians. They were then evaluated in 10 areas ranging from honors and awards to leadership positions. After a round of peer reviews, the final selection was completed, with only around 5 percent of physicians in a state or region being chosen for this distinction.

The 45 members of Valley’s medical staff on (201) Family’s Top Doctors List represent an array of specialties, including cardiology, endocrinology, internal medicine, pediatric surgery and radiology.

Valley physicians who were among the highlighted doctors are: Allergy & Immunology: John Bosso, M.D.;Ruth Gold, M.D.; Jay Kashkin, M.D.; Mary Ann Michelis, M.D.; Leonard Silverstein, M.D.; Justin Skripak, M.D.; Cardiology: Zvi Marans, M.D.; Dermatology: Rebecca Baxt, M.D.; Endocrinology: Rhoda Cobin, M.D.; Daniel Levine, M.D.; Family Medicine: Avril Anthony-Wilson, M.D.; Mary Bello, M.D.;Jeanette Biller, D.O.; Philippe Desplat, D.O.; Internal Medicine: Susan Flanzman, M.D.; Neurological Surgery: Richard Anderson, M.D.; Sean Lavine, M.D.

Ophthalmology: Glen Bianchi, M.D.; Richard Palu, M.D.; Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery: Jason Auerbach, D.D.S.; Michael Costello, D.M.D.; Manaf Saker, D.M.D.; Orthopedic Surgery: Douglas Avella, M.D.; Arash Emami, M.D.; David Konigsberg, M.D.; James Wittig, M.D.; Otolaryngology: I. David Bough, Jr, M.D.; Jonathan Lesserson, M.D.; Jason Surow, M.D.

Pediatric Surgery: Frederick Alexander, M.D.; Pediatrics: Jeffrey Bienstock, M.D.; Maury Buchalter, M.D.; David Namerow, M.D.; Rona Riegelhaupt, M.D.; Darren Saks, M.D.; David Schaumberger, M.D.; Lynn Sugarman, M.D.; Plastic Surgery: Pedramine Ganchi, M.D.; Sidney Rabinowitz, M.D.;Robert Zubowski, M.D.; Pulmonary Medicine: Jeffrey Barasch, M.D.; Steven Kanengiser, M.D.;Roberto Nachajon, M.D.; Radiology: Howard Seigerman, M.D.; Sports Medicine: Ira Esformes, M.D.

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Holy Name Medical Center, Valley Hospital sue to block ads for new tiered Horizon insurance plan


DECEMBER 10, 2015, 3:15 PM    LAST UPDATED: THURSDAY, DECEMBER 10, 2015, 3:20 PM

Holy Name Medical Center in Teaneck and The Valley Hospital in Ridgewood opened a new front in the widening fight against the state’s largest insurer Thursday, with a lawsuit demanding that Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey halt further advertising of a new, tiered health plan because — by leaving their hospitals out of the preferred tier — it makes them look inferior.

Horizon breached its contract with the hospitals when it announced the new Omnia health plans in September, the lawsuit filed in state Superior Court in Hackensack by the two hospitals and five others said. The insurer was obligated to give the hospitals an opportunity to negotiate participation in the new plans, the suit said.

The Omnia plans, now being advertised widely, group hospitals into two tiers, and will allow patients to pay lower deductibles and co-insurance when they seek care from a preferred, or Tier 1, hospital. The plans are being sold to individuals, small businesses, state government employees and people who buy insurance through the federal Affordable Care Act for coverage starting Jan. 1. Premiums are 12 to 15 percent lower than for other Horizon plans.

“They’re using marketing that is misleading,” said Michael Furey, an attorney with Day Pitney who represents the seven hospital systems suing Horizon, saying that this damages the reputation of his clients. They’re “making the consumer think that somehow the Tier 1 hospitals are superior and the Tier 2 hospitals are inferior,” he said.

Horizon is the largest provider of health insurance in New Jersey, with more than 50 percent of the commercial market. In total, including Medicare, Medicaid, state and federal employee coverage, it provides insurance to 3.8 million people in the state.

In Bergen and Passaic counties, the Tier 1 network includes St. Joseph’s Healthcare System, with hospitals in Wayne and Paterson, and Hackensack University Medical Center and its affiliated hospitals — HackensackUMC at Pascack Valley in Westwood and Englewood Hospital and Medical Center.

Holy Name, Valley, and St. Mary’s General Hospital in Passaic are in Tier 2.

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Fight over non-profit hospitals’ tax exemption looming



New Jersey’s non-profit hospitals may not pay property taxes, but they generate so many jobs, both directly and indirectly, that their economic activity contributes more than $1.4 billion to local and state tax revenues, a report commissioned by the state hospital association said Friday.

The industry is bracing for legislative action that might threaten the current exemption from property taxes in the wake of a precedent-setting Tax Court decision earlier this year involving Morristown Medical Center. State Senate leaders have said they plan to introduce legislation this month to clarify the standards for maintaining a property-tax exemption, to better reflect hospitals’ evolution into complex corporate enterprises since the tax code was written in 1913.

In Bergen and Passaic counties, the value of hospitals’ tax exempt properties is conservatively estimated at more than $700 million.

The report by EY (formerly Ernst & Young), commissioned by the New Jersey Hospital Association, details the economic and community benefits that non-profit hospitals provide. The 63 non-profit hospitals statewide employed 140,000 people, who received $8.3 billion in salaries and paid $674 million in state and local taxes in 2013, the report said. Hospital activities led indirectly to an additional 114,000 jobs statewide, and generated $777 million in additional taxes.

In North Jersey, those hospitals include Hackensack University Medical Center, Holy Name Medical Center in Teaneck, Englewood Hospital and Medical Center, The Valley Hospital in Ridgewood and St. Joseph’s Healthcare System in Passaic County.

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North Jersey towns reassess tax-exempt status for hospitals after key ruling


NOVEMBER 23, 2015, 9:53 PM    LAST UPDATED: TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 24, 2015, 6:42 AM

Around North Jersey, more than $700 million worth of property goes untaxed because it is owned by non-profit hospitals. That includes hospital campuses on nearly 90 acres in Ridgewood, Hackensack, Teaneck, Englewood, Paterson and Wayne. And it also includes hospital-related properties, such as portions of medical office buildings in Wayne and Paramus, parking garages in Hackensack and an assortment of lots in Paterson.

That property, and the potential revenue it could produce if it were assessed property taxes, is getting a close look by leaders of the state and local governments after a precedent-setting Tax Court decision and recent settlement in a case between Morristown and the non-profit Morristown Medical Center.

Judge Vito Bianco ruled that non-profit hospitals in the early 21st century are essentially legal fictions, with little in the way they operate to distinguish them from for-profit hospitals — and almost nothing in common with their beginnings as “charitable alms houses.”

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The Valley Hospital’s tax liability would be $4.5 million in Ridgewood if its main campus was not exempt


N.J. towns may push hospitals to pay up; more could seek property tax deals with non-profits

NOVEMBER 11, 2015, 11:14 PM    LAST UPDATED: WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 11, 2015, 11:22 PM

Cash-strapped local governments around the state may be looking at non-profit hospitals with new eyes, now that the non-profit Morristown Medical Center has agreed to pay its hometown $15.5 million over the next decade to settle demands for property taxes.

A judge in state tax court took away the hospital’s property-tax exemption in June, declaring that it operated more like a for-profit company than a charitable institution. Rather than appeal the decision, the hospital negotiated an agreement with the town, which was approved Tuesday night.

“Clearly, this is an open invitation for a number of towns,” Frank Ciesla, head of the health-law practice at Giordano, Halleran & Ciesla, said Wednesday. “I think you’re going to see a lot more in the way of litigation.”

Non-profit hospitals are among the largest landowners in some municipalities. Local governments could begin by assessing taxes on their property, leading to a series of appeals as hospitals seek to clarify their status, he said.

The Valley Hospital’s tax liability would be $4.5 million in Ridgewood if its main campus was not exempt, and $360,000 in Paramus, according to local records. (It already pays taxes on some other properties.) Hackensack University Medical Center reached a settlement this year of various tax issues that is to result in a $5.1 million payment to the city treasury over three years. Holy Name Medical Center in Teaneck, Englewood Hospital and Medical Center and St. Joseph’s Healthcare System’s hospitals in Paterson and Wayne all are exempt from local property taxes.

Ridgewood Mayor Paul Aronsohn said that it hasn’t been possible to raise the issue of taxes — or a payment in lieu of taxes — with Valley during the last few years because of the hospital’s pending application for approval of its building plans.

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Valley Offers Free Screening For Lung Cancer Awareness Month

November 11,2015

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, Earlier this year, The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services announced that for eligible beneficiaries, annual screening for lung cancer with low-dose computed tomography will be covered as an additional preventive service. The announcement made by CMS corresponds with the recommendations made by The United States Preventive Services Task Force, a government panel. The recommendations and the screening guidelines apply to current heavy smokers and to those who have quit within the last 15 years and are between 55 to 80 years old.

November is lung cancer awareness month. Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in men and women. An estimated 160,000 people die from lung cancer every year. Current and former smokers are at high risk for developing lung cancer. Many of these deaths could be prevented by following these screening guidelines, as studies have shown that treatment for lung cancer can be highly successful if the tumor is detected in its earliest stages, before there are any signs or symptoms of the disease.

The Valley Hospital is currently offering free, low-dose CT scans to those ages 55 to 80 who are eligible based on the screening guidelines. The test is painless and only takes about 15 or 20 minutes.

Request to be considered for a free screening online by clicking here, or call 201-634-5757.

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Valley Hospital : Illuminating the Roadmap to Easier Blood Draws


November 5, 2015

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ,  Blood drawing for patients with hard-to-reach veins just became a lot easier and less painful at The Valley Hospital, thanks to a small hand-held device that lights up veins like a roadmap.  With the AccuVein illumination device, the need for multiple needle sticks to try to hit a good vein for a blood draw is a thing of the past.

Hemoglobin in the blood absorbs the infrared light of the device. When the device is held above the skin, veins appear noticeably different than the surrounding tissue. The vasculature shows up clearly on the skin’s surface, aiding in vein location to collect a blood sample or administer IV medications.

When a vein is reached on the first attempt, it is much more comfortable for the patient since they have significantly less pain and swelling, if any, during and after the draw.

“Patients at Valley, especially those with hard-to-reach veins, are happy about our use of the vein illuminator,” said David Rivera, Director of Cardiac Services at Valley Hospital’s Heart & Vascular Institute. “Several patients have commented that they have felt a lot more comfortable during blood draws and IV insertions with the vein illuminator because of not needing multiple sticks. Valley is proud to be the first Bergen County hospital to have a large-scale deployment of the AccuVein device.”

Very often, elderly patients and children have hard-to-reach veins that cause the procedure to be more painful.  Dehydration, obesity, certain medications, and drug abuse can also contribute to having hard-to-reach veins.

Ron Goldman, Chief Executive Officer of AccuVein, said, “The Valley Hospital is a recognized leader in patient safety and their large scale adoption of vein illumination is further evidence of their commitment to excellent patient care.”

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The Valley Hospital in Ridgewood joined more than 450 other hospitals in 70 health networks to settle charges of improper billing


N.J. hospitals, health system settle improper billing claims, feds say
By Tim Darragh | NJ Advance Media for
October 30, 2015 at 4:30 PM, updated October 30, 2015 at 7:01 PM

Five New Jersey hospitals and a health system are among hundreds across the United States that settled charges they improperly billed Medicare for implanting cardiac defibrillators, the Justice Department said Friday.

Cooper Health System in Camden, Deborah Heart and Lung Center in Browns Mills, Hackensack University Medical Center, Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick and The Valley Hospital in Ridgewood joined more than 450 other hospitals in 70 health networks to settle the charges. Catholic Health East, which operates in several states and includes St. Francis Medical Center in Trenton, St. Michael’s Medical Center in Newark and Lourdes Health System in Camden, also settled for some of the hospitals outside New Jersey in its chain.

In total, the health systems repaid the federal government more than $250 million to settle the charges, which cover operations going back years.

“While recognizing and respecting physician judgment, the department will hold accountable hospitals and health systems for procedures performed by physicians at their facilities that fail to comply with Medicare billing rules,” Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Benjamin C. Mizer, head of the Justice Department’s Civil Division, said in a news release. “We are confident that the settlements announced today will lead to increased compliance and result in significant savings to the Medicare program while protecting patient health.”

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Valley Health System invites men of all ages to a free Men’s Health Fair!

james dean

Please join us on Saturday, November 7, from 9 a.m. to noon at Jack Daniels Motors – Porsche, located at 335 Route 17 South in Upper Saddle River. Learn about men’s health and take advantage of free screenings and information centers, all while exploring the newest models on display at the largest Porsche dealer in the area. You may win the use of a Porsche for a weekend!

Attend two special presentations:
The Weekend Warrior – Joint Pain, at 9:30 a.m.; and Heart Disease at 11 a.m.

Screenings and information centers will include:

PSA for Men ages 50 to 74
Pulmonary Function
Skin and Colon Cancer
Blood Pressure
Heart Health
Prostate Health
Back Pain
Smoking Cessation
And much, much more!

Please call 1-877-283-2276 to register.

Hope to see you there!