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Monday, May 5, 2014

Meadowlands hospital hit with lien over unpaid payroll taxes

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For the third time since Meadowlands Hospital Medical Center in Secaucus NJ was taken over by for-profit investors, the IRS has imposed a lien on the hospital’s owners for not paying the taxes that were withheld from employee paychecks.

This lien and the two previous ones have been paid off.

The 230-bed hospital’s financial condition has been a concern to state officials and its employees since 2011, with some lawmakers and its nurses union calling for a state monitor. But the owner — MHA LLC — has gone to extraordinary lengths to prevent public disclosure of what it considers “confidential and proprietary financial information,” going so far as to demand return of written materials after meetings with state regulators to avoid leaks, according to legal correspondence with the state.

A lawyer from the Wolff & Samson law firm, which represents the owners, accused the state Health Department in January of “improperly disclosing” information about its business practices and financial condition.

On Wednesday, a spokeswoman for the state Department of Health said state officials knew the hospital had not paid the payroll taxes.

The department in December requested that Meadowlands hire outside firms to handle its payroll and billing to “help ensure that payroll-related taxes will be paid,” according to a letter from Deborah Gottlieb of the Health Department to acting Meadowlands CEO Lynn McVey. It also...

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