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Hospital Groups Stand United on State Budget
Date:4/21/2009

to care for the people of New Jersey."

Gov. Corzine's proposed budget for 2010 calls for charity care funding to be held at last year's level of $605 million. Hospitals will provide about $1.3 billion in charity care services to the state's 1.4 million uninsured residents this year.

Other healthcare programs would sustain moderate cuts in the 2010 budget, including graduate medical education, the Health Care Stabilization Fund and the Hospital Relief Subsidy Fund. Other healthcare programs also took budget hits, including adult day health services and nursing homes.

Task Force members agreed that the state's charity care reimbursement system is broken and requires a multi-year strategy to address its many problems. However, the consensus position applies to just the current budget year in recognition of the unprecedented economic challenges the state is facing in 2009.

"We stand together in support of all New Jersey hospitals," said Fr. Joe Kukura, president of the Catholic Healthcare Partnership. "Our hospitals share a caring mission and serve as the safety net for all New Jerseyans, including the 1.4 million without health insurance."

Richard Goldstein, MD, president and CEO of the Council of Teaching Hospitals, agreed. "In a very difficult year, this is a palatable compromise. But we must remain focused on the healthcare system of tomorrow. We need adequate support for teaching programs, for safety net providers and for all of the community hospitals that serve the people of our state."

Hospital leaders expressed their support for the Governor and legislators as they tackle an enormous fiscal challenge in the 2010 budget and asked for their help in obtaining new federal dollars.

"We are grateful that Gov. Corzine recognized the importance of New Jersey's hospitals by sparing charity care from cuts in his budget proposal," said Suzanne Ian
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SOURCE New Jersey Hospital Association
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