Money to shore up ailing NJ hospitals

    The state is handing out $44 million to help six hospitals keep their doors open.

    Six New Jersey hospitals are getting grant money from the state to stabilize their finances and keep their doors open.

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    Several New Jersey hospitals have closed in the past two years and nearly half lost money in 2007. The state cut 15 percent of its hospital aid earlier this year, but it’s now providing extra help to several hospitals the health department considers essential to residents. Most of the $44 million dollars in aid will go to five hospitals near New York, and one in Ocean County. Health commissioner Heather Howard said the money will help carry hospitals through the year.

    Howard: This is not just a bail out. This is funding to preserve access to services, but we’re also going to demand that the hospitals that receive the money make significant improvements in their efficiency and in their quality of services provided.

    The six hospitals were selected because they provide essential services to poor and uninsured residents, and were on the brink of closing or reducing services. Other hospitals that applied for aid were turned away. The six recipients will begin getting checks in 2009.

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