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PO Box 360
Trenton, NJ 08625-0360

For Release:
November 03, 2008

Heather Howard
Commissioner

For Further Information Contact:
Donna Leusner
(609) 984-7160


 
Department of Health and Senior Services Proposes Rulemaking to Implement Standards for Health Care Stabilization Fund


 

The Health Care Stabilization Fund, P.L. 2008, c.33, was established for the purpose of providing emergency grants to general hospitals and other licensed health care facilities to ensure continuation of access and availability of necessary health care services to residents in a community served by a hospital facing closure or significantly reducing services due to financial distress.This specially adopted and concurrently proposed new rule would implement the requirements of the Act.In response to the final report of the New Jersey Commission on Rationalizing Health Care Resources, the Act established the Health Care Stabilization Fund (the Fund) as a nonlapsing, revolving fund in the Department of Health and Senior Services (Department), to be administered by the Department in consultation with the Department of the Treasury (N.J.S.A. 26:2H-18.76).

In this rulemaking the Department specially adopts and proposes new rules.Noteworthy new rules include the following:

o†††††† N.J.A.C. 8:32 establishes definitions and proposes that any licensed New Jersey health care facility could apply for a grant if the facility is facing closure or a decrease in health care services due to financial distress that will jeopardize the availability of necessary services for community residents.

o†††††† N.J.A.C. 8:32-1.4 proposes that the Department only disburse moneys from the Fund in the form of grants for qualifying health care facilities, and that the Department consult with the State Treasurer and the New Jersey Health Care Facilities Financing Authority prior to disbursing funds for grants.

o†††††† N.J.A.C. 8:32-2.1 proposes the grant application process.

o†††††† N.J.A.C. 8:32-3 proposes the Departmentís Selection Committee, shall, in consultation with New Jersey Health Care Facilities Financing Authority, review all grant applications and identify qualifying health care facilities based on the factors set forth at N.J.A.C. 8:32-3.2.

o†††††† N.J.A.C. 8:32-3.2 proposes the factors to be used in identifying qualifying health care facilities.

o†††††† N.J.A.C. 8:32-3.3 proposes conditions for award of a grant.Prior to the award of a grant, each qualifying facility would agree to the following: to use the grant only for the purposes set forth in the Act and the Chapter; to provide essential health care services to the community, as determined by the selection committee, based on the contents of the application; to facilitate the enrollment of individuals in appropriate government insurance programs; to provide the Department with quality of care, utilization, and financial information in accordance with N.J.A.C. 8:32-4; and, in the case of a facility whose financial condition created or contributed to the extraordinary circumstances necessitating the grant, to take corrective steps to its governance, management and business operations that the Commissioner deems appropriate.The Department would be required to notify a health care facility in writing of any required conditions prior to the award of a grant.N.J.A.C. 8:32-4 (b) allows and concurrently proposes the Selection Committee to require other conditions for the award of a grant based upon the particular circumstances of a facility.

o†††††† Subchapter 4 proposes auditing and recordkeeping requirements.

The notice of proposal appears in the November 3, 2008 issue of the New Jersey Register.The public has until January 2, 2009, to comment on the notice of proposal.Written Comments on the proposal addressing the Health Care Stabilization Fund Grants at N.J.A.C. 8:32 must be submitted by regular mail and postmarked on or before January 2, 2009, which is the close of the 60-day public comment period.The Department will not treat telefacsimiles and electronic mail as official comments on the proposals.

Persons wishing to comment on the proposed new rule governing the health care stabilization fund grants at N.J.A.C. 8:32 must submit their comments in writing by regular mail to Ruth Charbonneau, Director, Office of Legal and Regulatory Affairs, Office of the Commissioner, Department of Health and Senior Services, PO Box 360, Trenton, NJ 08625-0360.

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