Calling the state Legislatures budgetary cuts to charity-care reimbursement draconian, New Jersey Hospital Association President and Chief Executive Officer designee Betsy Ryan said that patient care and the financial health of the states hospitals will suffer as a result of the reduction, set to go into effect next year.
Lost jobs, reduced services and longer drives and longer waits for needed healthcare services are becoming a real-life worry for a growing list of New Jersey communities, Ryan said. She added that financially strapped hospitals will have great difficultly keeping their doors open in light of the rising number of uninsured patients seeking care.
Passed June 30, New Jerseys 2009 budget will cap its charity-care reimbursement fund at $605 milliona $111 million reduction from the states 2008 fund. State legislators have established an additional $44 million stabilization fund to help hospitals that provided a disproportionate amount of charity care, but Ryanwho officially becomes president and CEO on July 3called the fund too little, too late in light of the nearly $341 million loss experienced in 2007 by 26 of New Jerseys 75 hospitals. -- by Shawn Rhea