300+ to lose jobs as NJ EMS shuts down

The service's president and CEO said the shutdown is due to financial problems


Brianna Kudisch
NJ Advance Media Group, Edison, N.J.

NEPTUNE, N.J. — More than 300 employees at a New Jersey EMS provider will be out of work soon, as the Monmouth Ocean Hospital Services Corporation, also known as MONOC, is shutting down this spring.

President and CEO Jeff Behm told NJ Advance Media that the company’s shutdown is due to financial issues.

Monmouth Ocean Hospital Services Corporation (MONOC) will cease operations this spring, leaving more than 300 employees without a job. The EMS, formed in 1978, is closing due to financial issues, according to President and CEO Jeff Behm. (Photo/MONOC Facebook)
Monmouth Ocean Hospital Services Corporation (MONOC) will cease operations this spring, leaving more than 300 employees without a job. The EMS, formed in 1978, is closing due to financial issues, according to President and CEO Jeff Behm. (Photo/MONOC Facebook)

“We’ve been challenged financially for the last couple years, mostly based in reimbursement in the services we provide,” he said.

The shutdown will affect 320 employees, according to a W.A.R.N. notice issued by the state Department of Labor. Clinical operations will close on April 1. The company itself, including its billing, collections, and other operations, will close by the end of the year, Behm said.

MONOC, a non-profit company and healthcare co-operative, provides ambulance and other services to its members, 13 acute care hospitals in the state.

Behm said there were a few reasons for the shutdown, including changes in New Jersey in the last decade than affected Medicare and Medicaid payments.

“That was huge reimbursement dollars we were no longer getting,” Behm said of the legislative change.

Furthermore, MONOC’s clients have gone through changes and hospital acquisitions, Behm said. “They don’t see the value in the hospital cooperative that is MONOC,” he said. “They can do this work that we were doing for them.”

The board voted to dissolve MONOC last year, he said. But he emphasized there will be no disruption in service.

MONOC’s members—CentraState Healthcare System, Hackensack Meridian Health, and RWJBarnabas Health—will be taking over and “ensure no lapse in paramedic response in the current geography served by MONOC,” Behm said.

Behm said he’s been at the company for 28 years, starting out as a paramedic and working his way up the company.

“I’m sad this day is coming and I’m hoping all our employees who are fantastic land softly,” he said. “The health systems that are going to get our paramedics to provide this service are getting a benefit from the work we’ve done over the years.”

Formed in 1978, MONOC was created to improve health care and reduce costs, according to its website.

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©2020 NJ Advance Media Group, Edison, N.J.

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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