New Jersey Gov. John Corzine (D) on Thursday signed an executive order creating a special 11-member commission that will study the state's 81 acute care hospitals and assess whether the facilities are necessary, the AP/Philadelphia Inquirer reports.
The commission, which will issue its recommendations in June 2007, will project future demand for physicians and health clinics and determine whether each hospital is essential. Corzine said, "We need to take a thoughtful look at whether all our hospitals are necessary, whether they are suitably located to meet health care needs and whether state funding is properly distributed among them."
He said the panel's recommendations could save the state money or could rearrange distribution of current funds to address disparities in care for different regions and races.
Forty percent of New Jersey hospitals lost money in 2005, and the average hospital in the state earned a 1% profit, according to the New Jersey Hospital Association (AP/ Philadelphia Inquirer, 10/13).