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About the New Jersey Cost Growth Benchmark Program

About the New Jersey Cost Growth
Benchmark Program

To help improve health care affordability for New Jerseyans, on December 21, 2021 Governor Murphy signed Executive Order 277, launching the state’s health care cost growth benchmarking effort--New Jersey’s Health Care Affordability, Responsibility, and Transparency (HART) Program. The HART Program establishes targets aimed at slowing the rate of health care cost growth within the state and collects data to track progress in achieving those targets and improve overall cost transparency. 

This benchmarking effort encompasses all areas of health care costs inside the state, including insurance, hospital and provider, and pharmaceutical spending. Data collected through the program will improve understanding of the factors driving health care cost increases and point toward data-driven policy solutions for addressing them. 

The HART Program targets are set through 2027 and are calculated based on a combination of median income and potential gross state product growth projections designed to ensure health care spending does not increase faster than the state’s economy or the pocketbooks of its residents. States throughout the country have adopted similar benchmarking programs, with success in holding spending growth below national averages.

The HART Program is the culmination of work that began in January 2021 through Executive Order 217, which called for an Interagency Working Group of NJ Department leaders, chaired by the Director of the Office of Health Care Affordability & Transparency to design the program based on advice from a Health Care Affordability Advisory Group of stakeholders throughout the state, many of whom signed onto a compact promising to help achieve the benchmark targets and provide underlying data to track and promote progress on curbing cost growth.


Support for the Cost Growth Benchmark Program

New Jersey continues to take part in the Peterson-Milbank Program for Sustainable Health Care Costs, launched by the Peterson Center on Healthcare and the Milbank Memorial Fund. The program facilitates state-led activities that engage cross-sector stakeholders in designing, adopting, and implementing policies to measure health care costs and set state-wide health care cost growth rate benchmarks. In addition, the Milbank Memorial Fund and Bailit Health are providing technical assistance to advance program implementation. Rutgers Center for State Health Policy is providing analytic and strategic guidance in support of the State’s efforts.


NJ Program Resources

Governor Murphy’s Release of Executive Order 277

The HART Program Blueprint

FAQs on Benchmarking (Overall FAQs, Provider-Focused FAQs, FAQs Accompanying Release of E.O. 277)

Informational Webinar Slides (Employers/Purchasers, Consumer and Policy Leaders, Hospitals and Providers)

Health Care Affordability Advisory Group Meeting Summaries (March-December 2021)



Overall Resources Describing Benchmarking Efforts Across States

Peterson-Milbank Program for Sustainable Health Care Costs

Manatt White Paper and Manatt State Cost Containment Update

JAMA Health Care Cost Growth Benchmarks in Five States

Health Affairs Supporting States In Setting Health Care Cost Growth Targets To Improve Affordability