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NJ Hospital Alliance Leaders and Other Health Experts Call for Changes to Protect New Jersey Safety Net Hospitals Under Accountable Care Act and Medicaid Expansion
Date:11/5/2013

Trenton, NJ (PRWEB) November 05, 2013

State and national health care leaders today called on New Jersey policy makers to protect safety net hospitals, which are expected to treat the most additional Medicaid patients — at low reimbursement — under the Affordable Care Act, which takes effect January 1.

The experts urged state policy makers to target more health care funds to hospitals in the communities expected to treat the highest numbers of uninsured and newly insured Medicaid patients, as well as seek additional methods to obtain crucial federal matching funds to help these hospitals.

National health reform includes an expansion of Medicaid that will likely bring Medicaid insurance to approximately 300,000 additional state residents.

"Our safety net hospitals face many challenges. We will see more Medicaid patients but the reimbursement we receive does not cover the cost of the care we provide," said Joseph F. Scott, FACHE, president and CEO of Jersey City Medical Center. "And we face significant cuts on the horizon, while the benefit of having more people covered is being delayed."

The number of people signing up for insurance could be delayed because of technical problems with the national ACA website.

Scott and others said in order to continue to provide care to the state’s poorest and most vulnerable patients, safety net hospitals must be immune from any funding cuts.

The event Friday celebrated the 20th Anniversary of the Hospital Alliance of New Jersey, which advocates on behalf of safety net hospitals and the communities they serve. The experts said most of those newly eligible for Medicaid will likely seek care locally, and as a result, hospitals located in poorer communities will be critical for the success of health reform.

Several experts said New Jersey must do more to obtain the federal matching funds that other states use to support safet
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