TRENTON – Assembly Budget Chairman Lou Greenwald, (D-6), of Voorhees, said Thursday he was concerned that a proposal to no longer require hospitals to collect and keep data for Charity Care patients could result in abuse and lack of transparency.
He told acting Health Commissioner Mary O’Dowd during a budget hearing that he fears some hospitals may push out patients to other “safety net” hospitals, and keep the funds they receive from the state earmarked for Charity Care as profits. Without documentation, it will be difficult to keep track.
“We’re not going to have anything to look back on,” Greenwald said.
O’Dowd said the proposed measure is intended to help hospitals “streamline their financial analysis.” She said she is open to having some kind of documentation requirement.
“We can work with them to find some middle ground,” she said.
Greenwald said it was important to take that potential trend of hospitals directing patients elsewhere.
“We have to be conscious of potential abuse,” he said. “This could be ripe for abuse.”