The Jersey City Medical Center will receive approximately $16 million annually through a new hospital pilot program made possible via Medicaid-directed payments.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
The hospital pilot programs, reserved for low-income communities throughout the state, was first touted by U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-9) last week, noting that New Jersey will reap about $375 million a year between seven different counties.
“ … Just a few weeks ago, members of the New Jersey delegation called on the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to step up and they have stepped up. This pilot program will channel hundreds of millions of dollars into New Jersey,” the congressman said in a statement.
“Lives will be saved by this action. I applaud the Biden administration for coming through for Garden State communities.”
The program allows a fee on certain medical services at hospital facilities and the money collected from the hospitals would then be used by the State of New Jersey to maximize federal revenue by seeking federal matching dollars to raise Medicaid rates for the hospitals.
On June 9th, Pascrell led seven members of the New Jersey congressional delegation urging the Biden government to approve the hospital pilot programs.
“We urge the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to promptly review and consider the preprint applications for New Jersey to implement Medicaid directed payment programs in seven counties under 42 CFR § 438.6(c),” they wrote in a letter to CMS Administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure.
“It is our sincere hope that CMS will recognize the urgency of approving this program promptly particularly in light of the critical assistance it will provide to hospitals throughout the State of New Jersey as they continue to provide access to care and lifesaving services during these unprecedented times.”
Atlantic, Camden, Essex, Hudson, Mercer, Middlesex, and Passaic counties are the beneficiaries of the program.
CarePoint Health, which owns the Bayonne Medical Center, Christ Hospital, and the Hoboken Medical Center, and Hudson Regional Hospital in Secaucus did not return emails seeking comment.
However, a spokesperson for the Jersey City Medical Center said they expect an infusion of about $16 million a year from the pilot program.
“Jersey City Medical Center is estimated to receive approximately $16 million annually through the County Option Hospital Fee Pilot Program based on current discharge volumes,” their statement reads.
“This innovative program, which has been many years in the making, will provide critical funding to reduce the gap between Medicaid payments and the cost for providing services to the Medicaid and uninsured population. This will greatly support Jersey City Medical Center’s efforts to maintain critical access to quality care and improve health outcomes for all.”
Gov. Phil Murphy (D) signed the County Option Hospital Fee Pilot Program Act in 2018 and is scheduled to run through June 30th, 2026. However, the funds could not be allocated until CMS released them.