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Representative Reed Introduces Bill to Extend MDH and Low-Volume Adjustment

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At the request of HANYS and the American Hospital Association (AHA), Representatives Tom Reed (R-Corning) and Peter Welch (D-VT) introduced legislation to extend for one year Medicare provisions that provide assistance for certain small hospitals.  The Rural Hospital Access Act (H.R. 5943) would extend the Medicare Dependent Hospital (MDH) program and the recently modified eligibility criteria for the Medicare Low Volume (LV) Hospital Adjustment.  Under current law, each program will expire September 30.

The Reed-Welch bill is the House companion to legislation (S. 2620) introduced by Senators Charles Schumer and Chuck Grassley (R-IA), also at the request of HANYS and AHA. HANYS is grateful for the leadership of Senators Schumer and Representative Reed on this important issue.

These MDH and LV programs provide critical support for a number of New York hospitals. The MDH program assists certain hospitals in covering losses under the Medicare program, given their reliance on Medicare (at least 60% of an MDH hospital’s inpatient days or discharges are covered by Medicare).  New York has nine MDHs.

The revised criteria for the Medicare LV Hospital Adjustment allow a payment increase for hospitals with fewer than 1,600 Medicare discharges per year that are at least 15 miles from the nearest hospital.  The adjustment was established to ensure patient access to high-quality care in small communities.  In New York, about 18 hospitals qualify.

HANYS is urging all members of the New York State Congressional Delegation to cosponsor this legislation and is grateful to the members who have already done so. Contact: Chelsi Stevens

Published June 13, 2012