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NJHA: No Hospital Safe from State's $143 Million Cut
Date:3/10/2008

One-Third Would Receive Nothing for Serving Uninsured

PRINCETON, N.J., March 10 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Roughly one-third of the state's 78 acute care hospitals will see their charity care reimbursements totally eliminated by the funding cuts proposed by Gov. Jon Corzine, according to details released today by the state Department of Health and Senior Services.

No hospital will escape unscathed from the $143 million cut to the charity care program. "Safety net" hospitals that provide the highest levels of care to New Jersey's uninsured residents will experience a 5 percent reduction. The next tier of hospitals - those that fall in the middle based on the amount of charity care patients they serve - would see their reimbursement cut by 34 percent. And the remaining hospitals will see their charity care payments wiped out entirely.

NJHA analyzed the impact of the cuts on individual hospitals, with many hospitals suffering cuts of $10 million or more. The average hospital would lose $1.75 million under the state's plan.

Twenty-six hospitals would receive nothing back from the state in charity care reimbursement. And yet, those hospitals provided a total of $118.4 million in charity care services last year.

"In past budgets we've had winners and losers in how charity care funds are distributed. In this budget, we all lose. Every hospital in the state will receive dramatically less than they are entitled to under state law -- and this at a time when half of New Jersey's hospitals already are operating in the red," said Betsy Ryan, NJHA's chief operating officer and president-elect.

"We fear the ultimate losers will be New Jersey's residents, many of whom will see more hospital closures, job cuts and service reductions in their communities," added Ryan.

All told, the charity care losses to New Jersey's hospitals would total $143 million under the state's plan, a 20 percent reduction. That includes $1
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SOURCE New Jersey Hospital Association
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