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Representative Reed Meets with District 29 MDHs, Medicare Low Volume Hospitals, and Reporters on Legislation to Assist Hospitals

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Yesterday, Representative Tom Reed (R-Corning) met at Corning Hospital to discuss with local hospital chief executive officers (CEOs) and reporters legislation introduced at the request of HANYS that will safeguard funding adjustments for designated Medicare Dependent Hospitals (MDHs) and Medicare Low Volume hospitals.  The Rural Hospital Access Act (H.R. 5943) would extend the MDH program and the recently modified eligibility criteria for the Medicare Low Volume Hospital Adjustment.  Under current law, each program will expire September 30.  HANYS is grateful for the leadership of Representative Reed on these important programs.

The Reed bill, co-introduced by Peter Welch (D-VT), 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 the American Hospital Association.

In a release issued yesterday, Congressman Reed wrote, “Small cities and rural areas depend on their hospitals for access to emergency care and health and well-being programs for seniors and people at all stages of life.  Supporting small hospitals is a public safety issue as well as an economic issue. Small city hospitals play a major role in job creation and the local economy.”

“Failure to extend the Medicare Dependent Hospital and Medicare Low Volume Hospital adjustment would cost jobs and negatively impact the local economy,” he said.  His bill will extend the funding for an additional year. It will also require the Government Accounting Office to determine if there is a better way to deal with funding designated MDHs and low volume hospitals rather than short-term piecemeal extensions.

HANYS President Daniel Sisto said, “The legislation introduced by Representative Reed is a critical extension of two Medicare provisions for hospitals in about two dozen rural and small communities around New York State. Extending the Medicare Dependent Hospital program and the Medicare Low Volume Adjustment would help ensure patients’ continued access to critical services—from primary care to complex acute care—in these communities.”

Corning Hospital President Shirley Magana, Ira Davenport Hospital CEO James Watson, Jones Memorial Hospital President and CEO Eva Benedict, and Arnot Ogden Memorial Hospital and St. Joseph’s Hospital of Elmira President Fred Farley joined Representative Reed at the announcement.

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

Published June 21, 2012