Dozens of McCabe supporters appeared at the meeting to urge the council to switch ambulance providers.

Jersey City is hitting reset on the controversial process of awarding its ambulance contract, The Jersey Journal has learned.

The news comes five months after the city set in motion a plan to award the ambulance contract to hospital chain CarePoint Health and McCabe Ambulance over the Jersey City Medical Center. The switch has been on hold since December as federal officials review the deal.
Senior hospital management has been notified that the city will issue a new request for proposal (RFP), city spokeswoman Jennifer Morrill confirmed.
"The RFP is similar to last time and provides for flexibility," Morrill said in an email, adding that the RFP hasn't been finalized yet.
Sources tell The Jersey Journal that the move is Mayor Steve Fulop's attempt to stemthe controversy that erupted when Fulop announced last December that he wanted to award CarePoint/McCabe the ambulance contract. JCMC has provided the service for over 100 years.
Fulop administration officials started floating a proposal about a month ago that would allow CarePoint/McCabe to provide ambulance service for one half of the city and JCMC to provide it for the other half, say the sources, who asked not to be identified discussing confidential administration discussions.
Morrill declined to comment.
Restarting the RFP process will likely cheer JCMC supporters. In December, JCMC officials delivered to the mayor petitions with 14,000 signatures of residents urging the city to stick with JCMC.
"We are pleased to learn of the city's decision to rebid the contract for EMS services," said Tim White, spokesman for JCMC's EMS. "We look forward to submitting a thorough and competitive bid response."
Mickey McCabe, founder of McCabe Ambulance, could not be reached to comment.
CarePoint spokesman Spencer Baretz said "we will respond in due course" to the new RFP.
"We look forward to receiving it and reviewing it and hope that it's fair," Baretz told The Jersey Journal.
CarePoint owns Bayonne Medical Center, Christ Hospital in Jersey City and Hoboken University Medical Center.
Back in December, the ambulance contract appeared to be all but finalized – McCabe even announced on Facebook it won the contract before the City Council was scheduled to vote on it. New equipment was purchased and a hiring process set in motion in preparation for CarePoint/McCabe taking over the service on Jan. 1.
But the change – recommended 3-2 by a panel of city officials – never happened. The council was scheduled to vote on awarding the contract on Dec. 18, but the citypulled the item from consideration at the last minute, with Morrill saying the city asked the federal Office of the Inspector General to review CarePoint/McCabe's proposal.
Dozens of McCabe supporters appeared at the meeting to urge the council to switch ambulance providers.
JCMC has continued providing the service for free on a month-to-month basis as the city awaited a decision from the OIG.
Yesterday, Morrill told The Jersey Journal the city has called off the OIG review as it prepares the new RFP.
Both CarePoint/McCabe and JCMC offered to provide ambulance care at no cost for the duration of the proposed three-year contract. In its most recent contract, JCMC charged the city about $4 million annually.
JCMC supporters have been particularly critical of CarePoint/McCabe's offer to reimburse Jersey City for costs associated with city first responders, such as firefighters, who provide EMS care. The city said it expected to receive up to $2.6 million annually in reimbursement.
JCMC officials told the city they believed the city sided with CarePoint/McCabe purely for this financial benefit, at the expense of patient care. At the time, Fulop said the added revenue would indeed be a boon to taxpayers, but he added that there would be no change in the quality of service from JCMC to CarePoint/McCabe.
In a letter to CarePoint employees sent last December, Christ Hospital CEO Peter Kelly said that McCabe would provide "fast response times and outstanding patient care."
Morrill said the city will be "less aggressive" in the new RFP when seeking reimbursement for city-provided EMS care. Asked to elaborate, she declined.
"We will assess the bids based on the responses," she said.

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