Current Priority - Sole Community Hospital Bill
Secure Sole Community Hospital Designation
Olympic Medical Center has helped develop a bill - sponsored by Senator Jim Hargrove, Representative Kevin Van De Wege and Representative Steve Tharinger - in the state legislature to recognize Sole Community Hospitals in Washington State, which would result in 25% increase in reimbursement for Medicaid outpatient services. This would raise reimbursement from 55% of cost to 70% of cost. Olympic Medical Center fills too large a need to be Critical Access (25 beds or less) and does not have the payer mix advantages of urban hospitals. Recognizing Olympic Medical Center as a Sole Community Hospital will help bridge this divide for adequate reimbursement for Medicaid.
The Sole Community Hospital bill (Senate Bill 5859) passed the Senate 47-1, and is now in the House for consideration. Olympic Medical Center is urging our community's state representatives to strongly support this bill. Click here for a sample message in support of the Sole Community Hospital bill (SB 5859). Please help us urge our House representatives to support this bill by following the links and submitting your feedback via their online contact forms:
Current Federal Issues
Sequestration took effect April 1, 2013, and reduced all Medicare reimbursement by 2%, which reduced Olympic Medical Center’s Medicare reimbursement by approximately $100,000 per month. This reimbursement reduction of $1.2 million annually further reduces Medicare payments below the cost of providing needed local services to Medicare enrollees.
Medicare (and Medicaid) payments to hospitals have been cut by an estimated $113 billion since 2010, according to a chart released by the AHA. The figures represent the 10-year impact of legislative and regulatory actions on hospital payments since 2010, excluding cuts included in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. To view the chart, please click here.
Congress continues to contemplate further cuts to Medicare reimbursement. Olympic Medical Center is connecting with federal legislators to let them know that further cuts to Medicare will not only undermine the Affordable Care Act, but also harm large rural hospital systems and the communities they serve.
OMC's Federal Policy Priorities:
Maintain current reimbursement for physician services at hospital outpatient departments. Congress is considering a Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) recommendation that would reduce Medicare payment between 65% and 80% for 10 of the most common physician outpatient hospital departments. These physician services are already paid below the cost of providing these services. This recommendation does not consider rural areas with large populations of Medicare and Medicaid patients like Clallam County. Nor does it consider the costs of hospital space and the regulatory costs of maintaining hospital departments.
Stop further Medicare reimbursement reductions in order to protect local services that are needed by the more than 16,000 Medicare enrollees in Clallam County.
Protect Medicare reimbursement for physician services so that access to needed health care is maintained. We already have a physician shortage in Clallam County – further reductions will make the situation worse.
Stop site neutral payment recommendations. these recommendations would cut Olympic Medical Center Medicare payments by more than 5%, or $3 million annually.
We encourage you to write your elected federal representatives to let them know your thoughts on adequate Medicare funding.