Department of Health and Senior Services
  • How much is available for Health Information Technology?
    How much is available for Health Information Technology?
    A total of $19 billion will be available nationwide through a combination of grants, loans and technical assistance programs that invest in health information exchange. $2 billion will be available to federal agencies to plan, develop and pilot health information technology programs. A portion of the initial $2 billion will be given out as grants to states. States will have to develop plans and apply for funding through the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The New Jersey Health Information Technology Commission and the Office of Health Information Technology, which together are responsible for developing a statewide Health Information Technology plan may be eligible for some of the funding. Once this planning and piloting phase is completed in 2010, $17 billion—the majority of the health IT funds—will be distributed to hospitals and physicians to buy Health Information Technology systems. Hospitals and physicians will receive this funding through an add-on to their regular Medicare and/or Medicaid rates.
  • How much additional general Medicaid funding is New Jersey slated to receive?
    How much additional general Medicaid funding is New Jersey slated to receive?
    New Jersey will receive approximately $2.2 billion in additional Medicaid assistance over three federal fiscal years. This additional money will help to forestall the worst cuts in service and enable the state to protect the most vulnerable during this economic crisis. The increase is in recognition of the State’s growing health care costs, including the increasing numbers of uninsured. Medicaid enrollment grew by 8 percent or 84,000 people last year. New Jersey’s Medicaid program currently serves more than 1.1 million New Jersey residents. Unemployment has also increased from 6.1% in November to 7.1% in December and that will result in increased Medicaid enrollment.
  • Would community health centers get additional funds?
    Would community health centers get additional funds?
    Yes. $2 billion in grants will be available nationwide for expansion of community health centers, which are a critical safety net for the uninsured and underinsured. New Jersey currently has 18 Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs), with more than 90 sites across the state, serving 300,000 patients. The Department is working with New Jersey’s FQHCs to make sure that they compete successfully for these funds to expand access to vital primary care services.
  • Is there increased funding for Meals on Wheels and other nutrition programs for senior citizens?
    Is there increased funding for Meals on Wheels and other nutrition programs for senior citizens?
    New Jersey expects to receive an additional $2.2 million in nutrition funds for senior citizens. Over two years, New Jersey expects to be able to deliver more than 100,000 additional meals to thousands of seniors either at home or at nutrition sites, including community senior centers and subsidized housing. Currently, the programs deliver 6 million meals to 63,000 seniors each year in New Jersey. The federal Administration is considering a new formula for the stimulus allocations.
  • Does the federal stimulus plan include help for children with special needs?
    Does the federal stimulus plan include help for children with special needs?
    Yes. New Jersey expects to receive $10 million over two years for its Early Intervention Program, which provides services to infants and toddlers, birth to age three, with developmental delays or disabilities. This is a vital program for children and their families, because we know that early services can improve a child’s quality of life and reduce costs in the long run. This program is growing both in terms of the numbers of children served and the intensity of the services provided. Federal funding has not kept pace with the growth of the program; this additional funding will partially defray growing program costs and help New Jersey maintain services. Federal support represents only 8% of the total costs of the program.
  • Is there funding for childhood immunizations?
    Is there funding for childhood immunizations?
    Yes, New Jersey would receive $5.6 million to provide vaccines to thousands of underinsured children. The vaccines would be distributed through the federally funded Vaccine For Children (VFC) program using a new formula that is specific to stimulus funds. More than 1,100 New Jersey physicians, local health departments and community health centers participate in the VFC program.
  • How will the stimulus affect the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program?
    How will the stimulus affect the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program?
    WIC provides supplemental nutritious foods to pregnant, breastfeeding and postpartum women, infants and children up to the age of five. WIC services include nutrition education and counseling, breastfeeding promotion and support, immunization screening and health care referrals. WIC Services are available to low-income families as well as families experiencing unemployment, military deployment and other interim family financial hardships. Through the federal stimulus funds, New Jersey expects to receive between $12 million and $15 million, depending on enrollment. The funds will prevent waiting lists at local WIC agencies and services will be offered to anyone who is eligible. Competitive grant funding will also be available to the state for a new WIC information technology system.