The County of Bergen announced today that the Bergen County Health Care Center (BCHCC) in Rockleigh will permanently close by the end of 2021, citing a series of factors. The County will consolidate its in-patient health care services into one facility for residents by providing long-term care at the centrally located Bergen New Bridge Medical Center (Paramus) facility, which also provides immediate access to acute care services as well as pharmacy, diagnostic, hearing, and dental services.
The BCHCC has maintained a decades-long reputation of providing exemplary skilled-nursing care to the long-term care community, and over the years, BCHCC’s services have received national and statewide recognition. Due to new and emerging trends in long-term living, inadequate reimbursement, fixed overhead costs, a shift toward home or community-based care, outdated infrastructure along with the COVID-19 pandemic, the current occupancy is less than 50 percent of the 110-bed capacity. With diminishing census but fixed overhead, operation of the facility has become less cost-effective, and continued operation of the facility is no longer in the best interests of the long-term care community or County residents. Over the last five years, BCHCC has continued to experience a gradual decline in residents, and in addition, the unprecedented COVID-19 crisis revealed that immediate access to acute care services will better serve long-term care residents.
The County is focused on ensuring a smooth transition for residents and staff and is offering numerous options to avoid any reduction in workforce due to the closure, including securing new positions at the County Health Department or Bergen New Bridge Medical Center. To facilitate the transition for residents and their families, the County is going well beyond the state-required 60-day notification period and is providing residents and families with plenty of time to plan a transition. The County has provided residents the ability to stay within the County network of long-term care facilities and seamlessly relocate to Bergen New Bridge Medical Center (Paramus), where they will have immediate access to acute care services. The County will also work with residents and their families to provide information and assistance in finding an alternative arrangement that suits their needs. County representatives are coordinating every step of the transition effort with state regulatory authorities.
“The County of Bergen is dedicated to ensuring a seamless transition for Bergen County Health Care Center’s residents as we work to consolidate the County’s in-patient health care services,” said County Administrator Tom Duch. “Over the next few months, we will be working closely with residents and their families to provide information and assistance during this transition so they can continue receiving the high-quality, compassionate care they have come to know in a centrally located, acute care setting. We owe a debt of gratitude to our nationally recognized staff who are true healthcare heroes, working tirelessly each day to create an at-home, individualized experience for residents. We are grateful for everything they are doing to keep residents healthy and safe and look forward to working with each of our valued employees to find options for employment at other healthcare facilities.”
In the coming weeks and months, BCHCC will be holding meetings with residents, employees, and other key stakeholders to help answer questions and assist with the transition. For more information visit: www.co.bergen.nj.us/health-care-center.