New Jersey hospitals and health systems support their communities with free and discounted healthcare services, community health improvement programs, education, research, and other benefits valued at $2.75 billion. That’s according to the new report, “N.J. Hospitals Caring for Their Communities,” from the New Jersey Hospital Association.
That’s a tidy sum, but the largest portion by far — $2.2 billion — comprises unpaid costs of patient care. The total breaks down as follows: $646 million in unreimbursed charity care services for the uninsured and working poor; $276.2 million in unpaid care for Medicare patients; $147 million in unpaid care for Medicaid beneficiaries; and $1.1 billion in uncollectable costs for treatment (bad debt).
Also included in the total: $73.3 million in community health improvement services; $122 million in health professions education; $351 million in other community services and programs, such as clinical research, contributions to municipalities and healthcare programs that operate at a loss and are subsidized by the hospital.
The report relies on data from 2015 (the most current available) and is based on survey responses from 52 hospitals extrapolated to represent contributions from New Jersey’s 71 acute-care hospitals.