UMDNJ, a key healthcare provider in the city, fends off rumors of closing its hospital: UMDNJ board assures community Newark hospital won’t close.
Despite the assurances from UMDNJ and Gov. Corzine, it’s scary how close we are to seeing yet another hospital closure — Newark saw two other hospitals close just this past year. The business of providing healthcare is not as profitable as it once was, and is particularly difficult in cities like Newark where much of the casework involves people who can’t pay their medical bills.
In fiscal year 2008 alone, the gap between the cost of the services the hospital provided and what it was reimbursed was $32 million, and annual shortfalls going back almost a decade amount to more than $172 million, said Denise Rodgers, UMDNJ’s provost.
The hospital does not get what it might otherwise receive for services because three-quarters of its patients are charity care, self-pay or Medicaid/Medicaid HMO patients, she said.
“Any other hospital that’s had a financial crisis like University Hospital has, without a commitment from the university, would have closed a long time ago,” Rodgers said.