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Christie budget plan includes nearly $1B for N.J. hospitals

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Gov. Chris Christie’s fiscal 2014 budget plan includes nearly $1 billion for the state’s 71 hospitals, according to numbers provided by the Department of Health in a conference call this morning.

Despite the economic challenges facing the state, charity care funding — the subsidy for care provided to the uninsured — will hold the line at $675 million.

This year, the Hospital Relief Subsidy Fund is being replaced with the delivery system reform incentive payments, at the same funding level of $166.6 million. This program, part of the Medicaid comprehensive waiver, is a new incentive-based funding pool that hospitals may apply for in the spring. The funding formula is still being developed.

“To maximize our share of federal matching funds, we have reformed the way we calculate distributions, so that hospitals are reimbursed based on the level and quality of care they provide to patients,” said Health Commissioner Mary O’Dowd. “These formulas maintain the goals of equity, transparency and predictability while minimizing fluctuations in funding.”

Additionally, the budget plan includes a $10 million increase in graduate medical education, in recognition of the role New Jersey’s teaching hospitals play in health care work force development. Those payments help compensate teaching hospitals for costs directly related to resident physicians’ education.

A complete breakdown of graduate medical education and charity aid for each hospital can be found at http://www.state.nj.us/health/documents/hf_budget2014.pdf.

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