New Jersey hospitals losing charity care funding

About one-third of New Jersey hospitals will lose funding under a revision of the state's charity-care funding formula. The idea is to minimize cuts in funding to safety-net hospitals who would otherwise face cuts under the fiscal 2009 budget. The new formula will sort the state's hospitals, which deliver $1.3 billion in charity care collectively, into three tiers, based on the percentage of charity care each provides individually relative to total revenue.

Hospitals seen as safety-net candidates will get paid out of a special $35 million fund, but the state budget will otherwise cut charity funds from their current level of $716 million to $608 million. That $35 million fund was recommended by the recent New Jersey Commission on Rationalizing Health Care Resources--you know, the one that suggested that if a hospital isn't really needed, it should be allowed to die. This sounds like another step in that direction.

To learn more about New Jersey's charity budget plans:
- read this Modern Healthcare article (reg. req.)
- read this Newhouse News Service piece

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