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Measure identifies funding source to finance cooperative healthcare programs
(TRENTON) – The New Jersey Social Innovation Act developed by Assemblyman Angel Fuentes (D-Camden/Gloucester) was approved by the General Assembly today. The Act seeks to reduce government and taxpayer healthcare costs by decreasing chronic emergency room use through improved, coordinated care.
“Across the country, healthcare is undergoing a necessary transformation to improve patient care and reduce costs,” said Assemblyman Fuentes. “The Social Innovation Act is a crucial initiative that gives us the ability to identify and support those organizations leading this transformation right here in New Jersey.”
Bill A2771 utilizes social financing, a private-public partnership funding system known as “pay for success” which is rapidly gaining traction across the country, to fund non-profits aimed at increasing comprehensive care for individuals who visit emergency rooms multiple times in a year. 
“There are often unseen barriers to the quality healthcare all of our residents deserve. Language, culture, and yes even economic status can contribute to a patient’s ability to access follow-up care, or keep current with their medications,” explained Assemblyman Fuentes. “These are the sorts of problems that drive up healthcare costs for us all. With the Social Innovation Act we can address these issues without burdening taxpayers.”
These non-profits seek to improve the quality of healthcare provided to patients with chronic ailments who are not accessing the preventive care they need, or those without a general care physician. Private investors who participate in the pilot program will realize a return on their contribution if specific goals – including governmental cost-savings – are met.
“It is time to build a sustainable model for financing programs that leverages every resource available to us,” Assemblyman Fuentes added.  
The bill would establish a five-year social innovation loan pilot program with a non-lapsing, revolving fund called the “social innovation loan fund.” The bill also establishes the “New Jersey Social Innovation Study Commission” within the Economic Development Authority to assist the authority in administering the program.
The NJ Social Innovation Act now awaits consideration by the Senate Economic Growth Committee.