Today, U.S. Senators Frank R. Lautenberg (D-NJ) and Robert Menendez (D-NJ) announced more than $920,000 in federal funding for Cooper University Hospital in Camden. The funding is the first installment of a three-year, $3.3 million grant through the Affordable Care Act, and will allow the hospital to hire 14 new employees, save millions through improved long-term care, and improve care for patients with special medical needs.
Over the course of the three-year grant, Cooper is expected to save an estimated $6 million by providing improved preventive care services and better monitoring patient transitions. New employees and improved care management funded by the award will help reduce patients' reliance on emergency services and increase the hospital's efficiency.
"This federal funding installment will help Cooper University Hospital serve patients with special needs and reduce long-term costs," said Senator Lautenberg. "In South Jersey and throughout our state, families are benefitting from programs in the new health reform law, and I will continue fighting for federal resources to improve health care in every corner of New Jersey."
"Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, Cooper University Hospital is able to expand its innovative approach to patient management, reducing unnecessary readmissions and relieving stress on families," said Menendez. "Cooper is a national leader in health care delivery system innovations and this grant will allow them to improve patient care while reducing unnecessary costs. This is exactly why I supported health care reform and why I will continue to fight to ensure all New Jerseyans have the quality, affordable health care they need."
The Senators are strong supporters of the Affordable Care Act, the health reform law that was signed into law in March 2010. Since the law's passage, 1.7 million New Jerseyans have benefitted from preventive services, like wellness visits, without a deductible or copay. Under the new law, more than 73,000 young adults in New Jersey have gained health insurance through their parent's plan. Additionally, 126,000 New Jersey seniors who hit the Medicare prescription drug coverage gap, known as the "donut hole," saved an average of $809 per person.
Health care costs in Camden are largely driven by uninsured patients who rely on hospital emergency services for health care. According to the Camden Coalition of Healthcare Providers, 13 percent of patients in Camden account for 80 percent of health care costs, and in one year, 55 percent of Camden residents visit the emergency department, compared with 25-30 percent of residents in other U.S. Cities.