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Trenton, NJ 08625-0360
|Fred M. Jacobs, M.D., J.D.|
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As a first step in examining
The report analyzes the financial condition of the state’s acute-care hospitals and outlines a method for determining which hospitals are essential to maintaining health care access in their communities.
Governor Corzine has asked the Commission to examine
Dr. Reinhardt is an internationally recognized health care economist and professor at
In making decisions about the state’s health care system, such as whether a hospital is essential to its area, policymakers must look at hospitals within their defined market areas, the report says. Guided by the work of researchers at
To determine whether a hospital in an area is a candidate for state support, the commission proposed evaluating two factors – how financially viable the hospital is and how essential it is to maintaining community access.
Financial viability should be measured by looking at a hospital’s profitability, its capital structure and its liquidity or cash on hand. How essential a hospital is should be determined by looking at its occupancy rates, its Medicaid and uninsured inpatients and emergency department visits, its trauma services designation and other measures. Other issues, not so easily quantified, should also be considered – such as impact on travel time for hospital care or impact on particular racial and ethnic groups.
Hospitals that are more essential, but less financially viable could then be further examined for possible financial and other support from the state. More essential hospitals that are in better financial condition could be monitored for possible signs of fiscal deterioration.
In preparing the interim report, the Commission considered testimony and papers from many sources, including hospital groups, payer groups, consumers and others.
The Commission will conduct three public hearings during the summer in different parts of the state in order to hear the public’s concerns. Six Commission subcommittees will also meet over the summer to examine in depth issues such as information technology in health care delivery, regulatory and legal reform, and access and equity for the medically underserved, among others.
For more information, please view the full report on the web at: www.nj.gov/health/rhc/documents/interim_report.pdf.
Department of Health
P. O. Box 360, Trenton, NJ 08625-0360