Thursday, August 18, 2011

Christie Highlights Quality NJ Health Care

Reaffirming his Administration’s commitment to quality health care and strengthening New Jersey’s hospital safety net, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and Health Commissioner Mary O’Dowd today visited Trinitas Regional Medical Center in Elizabeth to highlight the impact of this year’s $20 million hospital funding increase and the importance of common sense reforms that are improving the funding formulas for charity care, the Hospital Relief Subsidy Fund and Graduate Medical Education (GME). The hospital will receive the state’s largest increase in hospital funding at $5 million.

“New Jersey’s hospitals are vital community assets in the health care safety net for our most vulnerable citizens,” said Governor Christie. “For the second consecutive year, this Administration has taken measures to protect our hospitals and those they serve. Through increased resources and common sense reforms, we are strengthening New Jersey’s safety net for those who need it most and ensuring that funding benefits the most vulnerable patients rather than administrative costs and bureaucracy. In addition, the budget also makes a significant investment in the future of New Jersey’s physician workforce by increasing funding to our teaching hospitals to $90 million.”

Charity care, which supports the care that all 72 hospitals provide to the uninsured, will increase to $675 million. All 38 teaching hospitals will receive a total of $90 million in GME. In addition, all 72 hospitals will receive a total of $166 million in Hospital Relief Subsidy Funds, which supports the care hospitals provide for behavioral health, pregnancy, childbirth and newborn services.

Trinitas Regional Medical Center will receive $55.9 million in hospital funding for Fiscal Year 2012, an increase of $5 million over Fiscal Year 2011. The funding includes $44 million in charity care, an increase of $841,000; $9.7 million in Hospital Relief Subsidy Funding, an increase of $3.3 million; and $2.2 million in GME, an increase of $859,000 over Fiscal Year 2011.

“We are very grateful that Governor Christie has increased funding in the budget for charity care services and Graduate Medical Education,” said Trinitas President and CEO Gary S. Horan. “Clearly, the Governor recognizes the important role urban safety net hospitals, like Trinitas, play in taking care of the most vulnerable patients in communities across New Jersey.”

Hospitals that have demonstrated a strong commitment to medical education of physicians, behavioral health and obstetric services will fare best under the formula changes represented in the Fiscal Year 2012 Budget. All three formulas were reformed to reduce state administrative costs and make funding more equitable and transparent to hospitals.

Many hospitals in the state depend on this funding to provide medical care to tens of thousands who either lack health insurance or are underinsured.

In addition to providing a significant amount of charity care to the uninsured, Trinitas is also a major provider of behavioral health services with a $14.4 million contract with the Department of Human Services. With community partners, it also receives $200,000 in state funding to provide quality access to prenatal care, preconception and interconception care as a means to decrease infant mortality rates.

“We recognize the fiscal challenges facing hospitals that serve as a necessary safety net for individuals and families who are uninsured but require expensive and/or extensive in-patient or out-patient services,” the Governor added.

Trinitas Regional Medical Center is a Catholic community teaching hospital sponsored by the Sisters of Charity of Saint Elizabeth in partnership with Elizabethtown Healthcare Foundation.

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