New Jersey freezes hospital charity care payments

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy recently announced he was freezing spending in the current budget due to a revenue crunch, and the state is now holding back money hospitals use to cover services provided to uninsured residents and to train new physicians, according to NJ Advance Media.

On June 12, New Jersey Health Commissioner Shereef Elnahal, MD, told hospital CEOs payments from the state's charity care fund would be delayed. The funds are shared among New Jersey acute care hospitals based on the amount of care each hospital provides to uninsured and low-income patients.

Dr. Elnahal also said the hospitals will not receive their monthly portion of the graduate medical education fund to support physician training programs, according to the report.

"The Treasurer and the Office of Management and Budget have informed the Department of Health the state will have to delay charity care and GME payments normally scheduled for distribution in mid-June," Dr. Elnahal said on a conference call with hospital CEOs. "This is not the news the department wants to deliver, but we have no choice at this time."

Dr. Elnahal said the timing of the payments will depend on the ongoing budget process.

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