Case Studies

Providing regulatory assistance and negotiating amendments to healthcare facility licensing legislation
Providing regulatory assistance and negotiating amendments to healthcare facility licensing legislation

Coordinated Health, a privately held, physician-owned, acute care hospital network turned to Kaufman Zita Group to protect its proposed ambulatory surgery center project from harmful legislation that would have barred its entry into the market.

In 2015, Coordinated Health applied to the NJ Department of Health to build a new $18 million ambulatory surgery center in Phillipsburg, NJ intended to fulfill the healthcare needs of Warren County.

From the very beginning, the project met challenges on several fronts. Rival health systems opposed the construction of the project in Phillipsburg, and viewed it as a threat to their monopoly on healthcare in northwestern New Jersey. These opposition groups mobilized and had legislation introduced on their behalf that specifically targeted the company’s facility, attempting to bar its approval by state regulators.

KZG developed a plan of action aimed at ensuring the appropriate review of Coordinated Health’s surgery center application, while simultaneously helping to develop and negotiate amendments to the bill that benefited the company.  KZG garnered support from the area’s legislative representatives and advocated on behalf of the company with senior officials in the Governor’s Office and the NJ Department of Health.  As a result of our efforts, Coordinated Health’s application was approved and the project broke ground in October 2015.

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Advancing and protecting the scope of practice for NJ’s Optometric Physicians
Advancing and protecting the scope of practice for NJ’s Optometric Physicians

Serving as Government Affairs Counsel to the New Jersey Society of Optometric Physicians (NJSOP), the Kaufman Zita Group (KZG) is charged with developing and executing a comprehensive legislative, regulatory and political advocacy program that safeguards and advances the optometric profession in New Jersey.

KZG helps NJSOP maintain regular outreach to legislators and policymakers in order to educate them about the current practice of optometry and explain how encroachments on the optometric practice by non-professionals could jeopardize vision and medical eye care in New Jersey. To that end, KZG monitors and acts on a wide range of legislation, from healthcare provider issues to those pertaining to public health and insurance. KZG routinely provides updates to the NJSOP Board of Directors and collaborates with NJSOP’s executive staff to make sure that the profession is effectively communicating with policymakers throughout state government.

Most recently, KZG worked with state officials from the NJ Division of Consumer Affairs on the adoption of new prescription pad regulations and the re-adoption of the optometric practice act rules from the NJ State Board of Optometrists. KZG also secured passage of legislation that expanded an optometrist’s ability to dispense medication through a contact lens, as well as legislation to establish a pilot program requiring comprehensive eye exams among elementary school children. KZG also works with NJSOP in their outreach efforts to the governor’s appointments office to recommend qualified individuals to serve on the State Board of Optometrists.  We are also responsible for developing a political engagement strategy that ensures that the NJSOP’s PAC activities are aligned with their policy priorities.

As a result of KZG’s government affairs program, NJSOP is well placed at the policy making table and patient access to medical eye and vision care is strong and robust.

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Restoring budget cuts to New Jersey’s pharmacies in an effort to ensure their economic vitality
Restoring budget cuts to New Jersey’s pharmacies in an effort to ensure their economic vitality

Vulnerable to budget cuts and programmatic changes proposed by Republican and Democrat administrations alike, the New Jersey Council of Chain Drug Stores (NJCCDS) requires a focused and nearly constant effort to protect their interests and those of the millions of customers in New Jersey who rely on pharmacies to meet their healthcare needs.

To that end, the Kaufman Zita Group (KZG) developed a comprehensive and targeted outreach and education campaign that focused on members of the Senate and Assembly Budget Committees, senior-level staff officials in the governor’s office, and the New Jersey Division of Medical Assistance and Health Services (Medicaid). KZG helped educate these officials about the impact of budget cuts on pharmacy profitability, as well as on the patients they serve, and assisted the administration in meeting its cost-saving goals by proposing alternative budget cuts to further protect NJCCDS’s interests.

Ultimately, many of KZG’s alternatives were formally adopted with bipartisan support into the final budget plan.

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Winning passage of healthcare legislation to improve the quality of surgical care in New Jersey hospitals
Winning passage of healthcare legislation to improve the quality of surgical care in New Jersey hospitals

With an eye on patient safety, the New Jersey State Assembly of the Association of Surgical Technologists (NJAST) recognized that surgical technologists were the only members of the surgical team not required to meet minimum threshold educational requirements for employment in New Jersey. Seeking to change this standard, NJAST asked the Kaufman Zita Group (KZG) to advance legislation that would strengthen the field’s accreditation and educational requirements and raise the professional bar to practice surgical technology in the state of New Jersey.

In order to effectuate this change, KZG helped NJAST draft legislation requiring surgical technologists to complete an accredited education program and fulfill continuing education requirements as a condition of employment in New Jersey hospitals. KZG identified Assembly and Senate sponsors likely to advance the cause, scheduled meetings with legislators to inform them of the necessity for such legislation, and advocated for successful passage of the bill. After the bill passed both houses of the legislature, KZG met with officials from both the governor’s office and the New Jersey Department of Health to negotiate amendments to the bill and address administration concerns.

The governor signed the legislation into law, ensuring the safety of all surgical patients in New Jersey and increasing the overall quality of surgical care in hospital operating rooms across the state.

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Healthcare ConsultingOur healthcare team, led by Anthony “Skip” Cimino, a former state legislator, state cabinet official, and a health system Chief Executive Officer, has extensive knowledge and experience in the healthcare arena.  Skip and our team know how to create and implement cost effective strategies designed to assist organizations maximize opportunities and achieve their goals.

Areas of expertise include:

  • Assistance in practice acquisitions, sale leasebacks, or opening a new facility
  • Engaging state and local officials
  • Strategic planning, permitting, and licensing assistance
  • Identification of real estate development opportunities for new construction, rebuild, or repurposing your facility
  • Facilitating discussions, negotiating, and implementing strategies that provide positive outcomes for all parties involved
  • Providing regulatory monitoring of the various state agencies responsible for licensing, certification, and administrative authority of health care facilities.