A 50-person company on Millstone Road at Windsor Corporate Park may
become embroiled in a Medicare payment lawsuit that could change the
way hospitals get reimbursed.
A trade publication reported on July 10 that CBIZ KA Consulting
Services was implicated in an investigation of 30 hospitals by the
U.S. Justice Department on use of "outlier supplemental payments."
These payments were supposed to compensate hospitals for treating very
ill patients whose costs exceed normal Medicare reimbursements.
"Hospitals have gotten into hot water for abusing the system to boost
revenue," according to Modern Healthcare.
CBIZ KA Consulting Services, a Cleveland-based healthcare consulting
firm with 13,200 square feet at Windsor Corporate Park, works with
hospitals in the tri-state area to provide reimbursement and finance
advice. No information is available about whether the federal
investigation involves clients of this office. Sam Donio, president of
that office, returned a reporter’s call at presstime; he had just come
back from vacation and knew nothing about the lawsuit. CBIZ’s attorney
in Cleveland has declined to comment.
Philip Besler, of Besler Consulting in North Brunswick, has also been
named in the suit.
Modern Healthcare quoted unnamed executives: "Beginning in the late
`90s, the two firms and several smaller unidentified consulting groups
allegedly approached hospitals to demonstrate how to exploit loopholes
in the outlier statute that would increase reimbursements without
treating greater numbers of sicker patient." The unnamed sources also
alleged that the consulting firms charged contingency fees of up to 20
percent of the increased reimbursements.
Besler is a certified public accountant and former New Jersey chief of
hospital rate-setting. He has said that he, his firm, and his clients
were in compliance with all laws and regulations. "Everyone was giving
advice that outlier charges could be increased, and there were no
regulations at the time," Besler told the Modern Healthcare reporter.
[After this issue went to press, Besler’s colleague called to say that
Besler had been misquoted on the sentence above].
"Hospitals have to meet their mission to stay alive and do what it
takes to stay alive as long as it’s within the legal boundaries,"
Besler was quoted as saying. "And we think it was."
Two hospitals have been named so far. St. Barnabas Hospital, based in
West Orange, did not admit wrongdoing on charges of inflating its
cost-to-charge ratio to be reimbursed at a higher rate, but last month
it agreed to settle for $265 million. A Dallas-based hospital giant,
Tenet Healthcare, agreed to pay $900 million.
According to the trade magazine, "at least 30 other hospitals, mostly
from New Jersey and Eastern Pennsylvania, were named in the same
whistle-blower lawsuits that snagged St. Barnabas."
A spokesperson for the Alexander Road-based New Jersey Hospital
Association says the NJHA has no first hand information on the case;
"It is between the individual hospital and the federal government."
The lawsuits that started these investigations remain under seal.
CBIZ KA Consulting Services (CBIZ), 50 Millstone Road, Building 200,
Suite 230, East Windsor 08520. Sam Donio, president. 609-918-0990;
fax, 609-918-0930. Www.kaconsults.com
Heating Up South of the I-95 Border
Real estate south of I-95 is heating up. Michael Briehler, who owns
the just-expanded athletic club, PEAC, intends to build office space
near his club on Lower Ferry Road, along I-95 between exits three and
Add to this the Opus East plans for the former Atchley/Bloomberg
tract, now called Princeton South Corporate Center. The
Minnesota-based firm plans is scheduled to go to the planning board in
July 13 to get approvals for just under 1 million square feet, to
include six office buildings totaling 740,000 feet, a 150-room hotel,
two restaurants, and a freestanding bank.
C. Craig Guers, senior vice president and general manager of Opus
East, plans an October groundbreaking with a finish date of summer,
2008, for an on-spec four-story class A building with 120,000 square
feet. Guers also says he has a a letter of intent for the first tenant
for a 100,000 square-foot building.
Opus East LLC, in a joint venture with its headquarters company in
Minnesota, purchased the 102-acre property on May 3 for a reported $21
million, $7 million more than the owners, Bloomberg, had paid for it.
But Bloomberg had paid for getting the approvals done and it
negotiated for an extra exit off of I-95 (U.S. 1, May 10, 2006).
The property had been the Atchley family farm, but it was bifurcated
by the construction of I-95. At Opus, Bill Walters is the development
director, and Geoffrey Case, senior construction project manager, will
be in charge of the site.
Briehler owns the athletic club, but he is no stranger to the
commercial real estate business. His family owned the Stage Depot
property in Pennington, and he worked with John Buschman’s commercial
real estate company until, at age 40, he built the initial version of
the now-expanded athletic club.
Briehler has obtained site plan approval for an expansion of the
athletic club plus two buildings consisting of 30,000 and 20,000
square feet. Already at this site is a Lakeview Child Center and a
satellite clinic for Robert Wood Johnson Hospital at Hamilton that
offers rehabilitation, occupational, and urgent care services. He
points out that this site is minutes from the Trenton-Mercer Airport
and the huge Merrill Lynch campus. Says Briehler: "Our site is
strategically located in a rapidly growing region."
PEAC Health & Fitness, 1440 Lower Ferry Road, Ewing 08618;
609-883-2000; fax, 609-883-2070. Michael Briehler, owner. Home page:
Royal Plaza Sold
East Windsor’s Royal Plaza Shopping Center, with 15 retail stores and
six office has been sold for $6,475,000 to investors based in New
York. The seller, Landmark Resources, is located in Scotch Plains.
Landmark was represented by the Mark Taylor, Dean Zang, and Charles
Oliva of Philadelphia-based Marcus & Millichap, and the buyer,
Milbrook Acquisition Corporation, was represented by Susan Brixius and
Sharon Bands of Marcus & Millichap’s Manhattan office.
Among the tenants are Apana Bazaar, Auction Mojo (for commissioned
sales on E-bay, City Streets Cafe, Creations Jewelry, No. 1 Chinese
Restaurant, U.S. Nails V. Also Allstate, CitiFinancial, Express
Personnel, Mr. Handyman, and Prudential.
Dallas Company Buys Alexander
Behringer Harvard confirmed the purchase of 600 and 619 Alexander from
the Eagle Group. With this purchase Trammell Crow will take over
management and leasing of these buildings.
"With its strong rent roll and close proximity to Princeton
University, we expect these stabilized properties to provide
predictable cash flow for our REIT investors," said Robert M.
Behringer. "The Princeton office market has consistently outperformed
surrounding markets in central New Jersey in terms of occupancy and
rental rates over the past two years."
The purchaser’s press release, issued from Dallas, Texas, points to
Princeton University as "the social and economic driver of the region
and a member of the venerable Ivy League. Employing more than 5,400,
it also brings half a million visitors and $2 billion in economic
activity to the area. The institution’s international prestige also
attracts corporate interest to this boutique market. Princeton
University owns 300 acres of developable land directly across from the
buildings on Alexander Road, which is the major access road to the
university from U.S. Highway 1."
The press release also touts the "well-maintained network of local
roads, highways, mass transportation and regional airports" and the
high-speed rail service to New York and Philadelphia."
Computer DRX, 50 Princeton-Hightstown Road, Suite N, Princeton
Junction 08550; 609-275-8040. Sharis Hatab, owner. Home page:
Computer DRX, which does home and office computer repair and
networking, has moved to its own building in Hamilton from a rental at
50 Princeton-Hightstown Road in Princeton Junction. After having to
wait over a year to get his sign in front of his office, Sharis Hatab
decided the time was ripe to purchase.
Founded in December, 2004, Computer DRX specializes in virus and
spyware/adware removal. Hatab reports that the company has quadrupled
its clientele since its early days and now has 10 employees. His
clients include Ausome Candies, which make candy for American Idol,
the Lewis School in Princeton, Allies Inc., and many doctors.
Hatab grew up in West Windsor and attended West Windsor-Plainsboro
High School. He graduated from Temple University with a business
degree in 2001, and then got his Microsoft certification from New
Horizons, a computer learning center. But computers are not something
new for Hatab. He has been involved with them for over 10 years. "My
dad was in computer engineering," he says, "and I had the influence of
it all my life."
Northeast Systems Inc., 251 Princeton-Hightstown Road, Suite 1,
Hightstown 08520; 609-750-1188; fax, 609-750-1160. Prathibha
Mashettiwar, co-owner. Home page: www.northeastsys.com
Northeast Systems Inc., which does software and consulting for IT
companies, recently moved from temporary quarters at 4 Stone Meadow
Court in Plainsboro to Hightstown.
The co-owners Prathibha, CEO, and Sharad Mashettiwar, moved the
10-year-old business to Plainsboro from Edison when they changed their
residence. Prathibha has a bachelor’s degree in biology and has taken
a number of computer courses; her husband Sharad has been an IT
professional for more than 20 years.
Federal Bureau of Investigation, 200 American Metro Boulevard, Suite
205, Hamilton 08619; 609-689-7999; fax, 609-689-7980. Bill Evanina,
supervisory special agent.
Thirty FBI agents expanded from 850 Bear Tavern Road to American Metro
Center in June. The FBI has 300 agents in New Jersey.
A-Plus Medical Staffing, 251 Princeton-Hightstown Road, Suite 1,
Hightstown. Sam Lem, president.
A-Plus Medical Staffing, which hires nurses and aides for hospitals
and nursing homes, has left the area. The phone was disconnected.
Cape Environmental, 1377 Route 206, Princeton 08540; 609-252-0252.
Cape Environmental has moved out of the area. The company did not
answer either of the two numbers provided by directory assistance.
Based in Manhattan, the firm does groundwater remediation for
Computer Renaissance, 2235 Route 1 South, Commerce Center, North
Brunswick 08902. Home page: www.crnorthbrunswick.com
Computer Renaissance, a computer reseller and service provider, closed
its office in North Brunswick at the end of June.
Princeton Advanced Components Inc., 860 State Road, Princeton 08540.
Princeton Advanced Components, which makes computer components and
timing devices, has left town. Both phone and fax numbers have been
Sandoz Inc. (ADR), 2400 Route 130, Dayton 08810; 732-274-2400; fax,
732-274-8989. Home page: www.sandoz.com
The Sandoz facility at 2400 Route 130 in Dayton has finished its move
to North Carolina. This drug manufacturing operation was formerly
known as Invamed. Sandoz retains its 150-person office at 506 Carnegie