State Report: New Jersey

March 1, 2008

Commonwealth Fund State Performance Ranking (2007): 26

New Jersey needs an early warning system so it can identify acute-care hospitals in financial distress and intervene to ensure access to care, according to a January report released by Governor Jon S. Corzine's Commission on Rationalizing Healthcare Resources.

The report identified major causes of the industry's overall poor financial health:

STATE PROGRAMS

In September, a task force made 20 recommendations for improving the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of state health programs. The recommendations focus on the structure of insurance plans and on lowering the cost to the state of prescription drugs and long-term care.

Governor Corzine also signed legislation requiring general hospitals to implement infection prevention programs in their intensive care units. The legislation likewise requires hospitals to report cases of MRSA to the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services.

HMO MEASURES SLIDE

While New Jersey's six commercial HMOs have remained largely consistent in 12 clinical performance categories, customer satisfaction measures were mixed, according to the annual HMO report card. None of the other clinical measures changed by more than 2%, but there was marked change in several customer satisfaction categories

MHE Sources: CMS, Urban Institute, Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured, U.S. Census Bureau, The Commonwealth Fund.