PRINCETON, N.J., March 5, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- "In a time when the state has numerous competing priorities, we appreciate that Gov. Murphy's budget proposal preserves charity care funding to provide a safety net for the working poor uninsured, along with other important programs like graduate medical education to ensure that New Jersey has enough clinicians to meet our future care needs.
"That's vitally important to the health of New Jersey residents. Our healthcare system is in a transformative period, focusing on value, population health and the expectations of our healthcare consumers. Healthcare providers are investing energy, resources and some really innovative thinking into these areas – as they should. And yet, New Jersey hospitals continue to face the age-old challenges of caring for people without health insurance:
- In 2016, the most recent year data is available, our hospitals provided $565 million in charity care services to individuals. With the Governor's proposed funding of $262 million, New Jersey's hospitals will shoulder the burden of $303 million in unreimbursed care for our state's most vulnerable residents.
- Meanwhile, the number of N.J. residents insured through the ACA's online marketplace has declined by 40,000 the last two years, and the state's uninsured rate is once again on the rise – from 7.7 percent in 2017, to 8 percent in 2018, to 9 percent today.
"NJHA and its members have embraced a mission of improving the health of the people of New Jersey. We appreciate a budget proposal that recognizes those same goals, and we welcome the opportunity for further discussion with elected leaders on the present – and the future – of our healthcare system, including the pressing need to adequately fund nursing homes and other providers who care for our seniors in post-acute settings."
SOURCE New Jersey Hospital Association (NJHA)