While funding for charity care has been significantly reduced in recent years, Gov. Chris Christie has been steadily increasing a separate fund to assist teaching hospitals, more than tripling New Jersey’s investment over the past eight years in facilities that train the next generation of doctors.
The governor’s proposed budget for fiscal year 2018, which begins July 1, includes $218 million in Graduate Medical Education funds for the 43 hospitals that have programs for interns and residents, according to the state Department of Health, which administers it. The funding — $30 million more than was budgeted this year — includes state and federal dollars; generally, for each $1 New Jersey budgets, Washington, D.C., provides $2.
GME dollars are distributed based on a formula that considers the amount hospitals spend on medical residents and interns, figures included in a Medicaid report facilities must file with the state, the DOH explained. The funding covers programs that train interns and residents in various medical fields. Christie has made this a priority, citing a lack of primary care and certain specialty physicians that experts fear is reducing access to healthcare for Garden State residents, even if they do have insurance. A detailed breakdown of thefor fiscal 2018, released earlier this month, calls for GME payments that range from nearly $81,000 for Capital Health Medical Center in Hopewell to more than $31 million for University Hospital in Newark.