STATE – New Jersey hospitals spent nearly $1 billion on charity care last year, according to a report released today by the state Department of Health.
Of the documented spending, $543 million was for in-patient care and $455 million was for out-patient care. The $997.6 million total was $2.5 million higher than in 2011, but represented a three percent decrease from 2010.
There is wide variation by hospital in the amount of charity care documented, ranging from $82.9 million at St. Joseph’s Regional Medical Center in Paterson-accounting for 8.3% of the total documented charity care statewide– to $0.277 million by Saint Claire’s Sussex, which has since closed.
Trinitas Regional Medical Center spent $41.9 million last year, $3.9 million less than in 2011. Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital spent $27.5 million last year, an increase of $129,801 from the year before. Raritan Bay Medical Center spent $17.3 million on documented charity care in 2012, an increase of $1.5 million from 2011.
The report provides trend analysis by county from 2007 to 2012 as well as the market share analysis, complimenting the multi-year trend data. At the county level, the Essex and Hudson regions had the largest decrease in documented charity care of $12.9 million and 10.6 million, respectively between 2011 and 2012 while Mercer/Hunterdon region experienced the largest increase of $11 million between 2011 and 2012.
Hospitals in many of the state’s urban areas-including Camden, Newark, Paterson and Hudson County-reported an average of $23.3 million in documented charity care, compared to an average for all other hospitals of $9.9 million
Thirty-two hospitals documented more than $10 million each in charity care last year, accounting for 78 percent of all documented charity care statewide.
New Jersey residents with incomes below 301% of the federal poverty level who do not qualify for Medicaid or any other insurance are eligible to receive free or reduced rate charity care services for both inpatient and outpatient care. New Jersey hospitals are required by state law to provide all necessary care to patients regardless of ability to pay. Hospitals submit claims to the state priced at the Medicaid rate and DOH audits these claims quarterly.
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