Now More Than Ever, We Must Support Our Safety Net Hospitals
Hospital Alliance's 16 member hospitals provide over 55% of the charity care in New Jersey, operate 6 out 10 of our trauma centers, provide over 34,000 New Jerseyans with good-paying jobs, and train 1,500 new physicians every year. They deliver life-saving, innovative care for all, and demonstrate a commitment through real action to improving healthcare for our poorest and most vulnerable residents. While Washington debates the future of the Affordable Care Act, New Jersey's safety net hospitals are needed more than ever and must be supported.
With uncertainty in Washington, Safety Net Hospitals can't afford another cut to Charity Care.
After $350 million in cuts over the last two years, cutting more money from our hospitals will risk jobs, services, and critical access in our urban communities.
Even under the Affordable Care Act, there are still nearly 800,000 uninsured New Jerseyans and that number is only set to rise if coverage goes away. Now more than ever, access to healthcare must be protected.
Because of poor reimbursement under Medicaid, New Jersey's safety net hospitals already operate with half the cash on hand as other hospitals. If coverage options go away and Charity Care is cut, it will create a perfect storm that will hurt hospitals, patients, and New Jersey's neediest communities.
Investments in safety net hospitals are investments in our communities
The fact is that investments in our safety net hospitals are not merely investments in hospitals. They are investments in our entire communities — communities that are still in dire need. While only 8 percent of all New Jerseyans are living below the poverty line, according to the most recent census data, over 23 percent of people living in communities served by safety net hospitals live on less than $230 per week, and roughly 20 percent of our residents still lack health insurance. It is these communities where we should be investing the lion’s share of our limited state resources.
What New Jersey Stands to LOSE...
New Jersey's safety net hospitals provide critical access to healthcare in our urban communities. But using charity care to generate budget savings will cost us all. Everyone LOSES with cuts to safety net hospitals:
Safety Net Hospitals Lose: Revenue + employees
Patients Lose: Access + Services
Cities Lose: Large Employers
Residents Lose: Jobs
Local Businesses Lose: Customers and revenue
Read the Op-Ed by Hospital Alliance President and CEO, Suzanne Ianni:
NJ Biz, 2/20/2017
"While Washington fiercely debates the future of health care in America, we are fortunate in New Jersey to have leaders in both parties who stand up to support our most important health care organizations — our safety net hospitals.
Over the last 7 years, Gov. Chris Christie has led the charge to protect and support New Jersey’s safety net hospitals. Senate President Steve Sweeney, Speaker Vincent Prieto, Senator Joe Vitale and Assemblyman Herb Conaway have also been incredible champions for these vital organizations. And now more than ever, we need these leaders to once again stand up and fight for our safety net hospitals."
IN NEW JERSEY, AND RISING
In sickness and in health, safety net hospitals are there. That's why we ask you to support them. Contact the Governor and ask him to fund safety net hospitals in the state budget. New Jersey needs them, now more than ever.