NEW JERSEY: HCFA Approves Medicaid Reform Plan
The Health Care Financing Administration Friday announced Friday the approval of New Jersey's 1115 Medicaid waiver for the Managed Charity Care Demonstration. The program will emphasize the use of coordinated care systems over the use of hospital and emergency room services for uninsured patients. New Jersey announced plans in late 1996 to move its troubled charity care system to a managed care network consisting of every hospital in the state that receives charity care funding. Under the waiver, hospitals will develop "hospital-centered managed care networks" that will deliver coordinated care to the medically indigent. The program will provide substance abuse and mental health services as well as services for conditions that would benefit from the coordination of care, such as diabetes and hypertension.
Garden State Guarantee
The state hopes to serve more uninsured low-income residents through the more efficient use of disproportionate share hospital funds and the minimization of the use of costly intensive care settings. Participation in the program is voluntary. The eligibility levels for the program will remain the same as the state's current charity care system: those earning up to 200% of the federal poverty level are entitled to fully subsidized inpatient and outpatient care, while those with incomes between 200% and 300% of the federal poverty level are eligible for partial subsidies. "This project demonstrates our commitment to working with states on innovative programs that ensure our neediest citizens get top quality care in the most appropriate setting," said HCFA Administrator Nancy-Ann Min DeParle (release, 2/13).