Learn More About: University Hospital - Health Professionals & Allied Employees

Learn More About: University Hospital

University Hospital

As the state’s largest health care union, HPAE represents 1,200 healthcare professionals working at University Hospital. It is imperative the state provides University Hospital with adequate funding in the FY2020 budget. The ability for UH to provide quality care is directly connected to the financial health of the institution. The state must make University Hospital a funding priority for it to meet its mission for caring for the most vulnerable and those most in need.

HPAE urges Governor Murphy and the NJ Legislature to increase funding for University Hospital in the following areas:

  • Charity Care
  • State Investments in University Hospital Services

Charity Care

University Hospital is the only public acute care hospital in the state, one of three Level One trauma centers, and the only Level One hospital in North Jersey. It’s primary source of patient revenue is from government payers. Combined Medicare, Medicaid, and health care subsidies account for an average of 73 percent of UH revenues since 2014.[1] As a premier research and teaching hospital as well as a “safety net” hospital, every public health service that UH provides is critical to the wellbeing of the largely uninsured and underinsured community it serves.

  • Charity care for University Hospital was cut by 40% since FY2015.[2]
  • New Jersey still has approximately three-quarters of a million uninsured citizens.[3]
  • Despite New Jersey’s implementation of an individual mandate, 22,000 fewer residents signed up for ACA plans in 2018.[4]
  • University Hospital has operated at a deficit since 2015.[5]
  • New Jersey ranks fifth highest on the list of the Federal Medicaid Disproportionate Share Hospital allotments since 2008.[6]

Beginning in October 2019 ACA reductions to DSH payments will go into effect with a $4 billion cut nationally in FY2020. The cuts will increase to $8 billion for each successive year through 2025. Given these large cuts to DSH by the federal government and the painful facts of the uninsured and underinsured in New Jersey, the state must prepare for providing the financial support necessary to keep University Hospital a vibrant participant in public health care.

HPAE applauds Governor Murphy’s proposed $10M increase to total charity care appropriations and we urge that a significant portion of those funds if not all of that increase be allocated to University Hospital.

State Investments in University Hospital Services

State funding for the University Hospital has again remained flat for the FY2020 budget at $43.8M. Consumer prices in 2019 are 8 percent higher than average prices throughout 2015[7] – just to keep up with inflation, funding for University Hospital would need to increase by $3.5M in the FY2020 budget. HPAE urges to invest at least an additional $3.5 million in the FY2020 Budget for University Hospital.

University Hospital expects to spend $585.9M, an increase of $10M from the previous fiscal year. This figure is the baseline dollar amount needed to improve the Emergency Room at University Hospital.

HPAE urges the Governor and NJ Legislature to include $10 million in state funds as requested by Interim President and CEO Judith Persichilli to review and improve an overcrowded emergency room that served approximately 80,000 patients last year or 80% of total admissions.[8] We would like to see the legislature evaluate the costs of improving care at University Hospital and increase University Hospital’s funding to match the needs of the community.

As a public hospital, it is crucial that UH provide a full complement of care services to the community. Any reduction in services will harm the community that depends on University Hospital. All services are essential to the fabric of the core mission of caring for underserved populations.

In 2018, the previous University Hospital CEO, John Kastanis, applied to terminate pediatric inpatient services. While the proposal was withdrawn there are many concerns over the future of pediatric services. HPAE urges Governor Murphy and NJ Legislature to invest funding to study the impact such a closure and the current reduction in services has on racial health disparities to populations served by University Hospital.


[1] University Hospital Audited Financial Statements 2014-2017 and Unaudited Financial Statement 2018.

[2] NJ DOH Funding Pool Summary FY2015, FY2016, FY2017, FY2018, and FY2019.

[3] Extrapolated from U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data of 8 percent uninsured rate in NJ in 2017 with a population of approximately 9 million.

[4] Nicole Leonard. “Uninsured residents at risk for penalties as N.J. law takes effect Jan. 1.” Press of Atlantic City, 31 December 2018, https://www.pressofatlanticcity.com/news/breaking/uninsured-residents-at-risk-for-penalties-as-n-j-law/article_d44e6f70-a603-554f-9b94-5bcd10c4af76.html .

[5] University Hospital Audited Financial Statements 2014-2017 and Unaudited Financial Statement 2018.

[6] The Kaiser Family Foundation database currently provides DSH data from 2008 through 2018, https://www.kff.org/medicaid/state-indicator/federal-dsh-allotments/?currentTimeframe=0&sortModel=%7B%22colId%22:%22Location%22,%22sort%22:%22asc%22%7D

[7] Bureau of Labor Statistics, https://www.bls.gov/cpi/# .

[8] Persichilli, Judith (2019) Monitor’s Report on the Assessment of University Hospital (2019). https://nj.gov/health/healthfacilities/documents/UH%20Monitor%20Report%20-%20121018%20(1).pdf