Research by Mailman School of Public Health cites New Jersey's high healthcare costs

November 02, 2005

November 1, 2005- A paper authored by Sherry Glied, PhD, professor and chair of the Department of Health Policy and Management at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health, provides an overview of the healthcare costs in New Jersey, and is the first of a three-part series on public health and medical coverage in the state. Findings of Dr. Glied's paper, "The Healthcare System of New Jersey 2005: A Snapshot," are featured on the inaugural website of the Hall Institute of Public Policy - New Jersey, a non-partisan, not-for-profit organization that explores issues of social, economic, educational, and cultural importance to New Jersey.

The paper describes the organization of healthcare financing and delivery in New Jersey, and assesses the outcomes of the State's healthcare system in terms of access, costs, and health status. According to Dr. Glied, "The high cost of care in New Jersey places a substantial burden on both the government and the private sector. Rising Medicaid costs, particularly associated with seniors and pharmaceutical coverage, continue to be a problem. While the State's population has good, but not exceptionally good, health status overall, there is considerable scope for improvement."

According to Dr. Glied, in a ranking of states healthcare systems, New Jersey would likely appear as a solid performer in the second tier of states. "While not a dramatic innovator it has taken a series of steps to expand coverage and has experimented with a variety of strategies to keep costs down," observes Dr. Glied. Particularly, she points to the state's hospital assistance program as a worthy innovation, targeting funds directly at needy patients rather than at the hospitals themselves.

"The most broadly studied health policy innovations in New Jersey have been the individual and small group health plans. But it has been highly debatable whether these plans have been successful or not, and legislators continue to tinker with them, modifying regulations and changing premium practices," says Dr. Glied.

The complete findings by Dr. Glied are posted in the health section on the Hall Institute interactive website at www.hallnj.org. The second part in Dr. Glied's series of papers will focus on Medicaid in New Jersey and the third will explore how to control health costs in the state.

"The Hall Institute is working to encourage dialogue from different perspectives and improve understanding of the issues that impact our daily lives here in New Jersey," said Michael P. Riccards, a former college president who is the Institute's Executive Director. "With her papers, Sherry Glied will help generate the debate and discussion that is so important to policy-making in our state."

The Hall Institute conducts and supports scholarly research; presents forums, symposiums and conferences; publishes white papers and op-ed articles; and collaborates with other institutions and foundations. The Institute was established in Summer 2005 by George E. Hall, a New Jersey business executive and philanthropist.
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About the Mailman School of Public Health
The first accredited school of public health in New York City, and among the first in the nation, Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health provides instruction and research opportunities to more than 850 graduate students in pursuit of masters and doctoral degrees. Its students and more than 250 multi-disciplinary faculty engage in research and service in the city, nation, and around the world, concentrating on biostatistics, environmental health sciences, epidemiology, health policy and management, population and family health, and sociomedical sciences. www.mailman.hs.columbia.edu

Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health

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