Olympic Medical Center is a comprehensive health care provider serving the residents of Port Angeles, Sequim and surrounding communities. Inpatient services include a level-three trauma designated emergency department, surgical services, and labor and delivery. Outpatient services include cardiac care, cancer care, diagnostic imaging, physical therapy and rehabilitation, laboratory, orthopaedics, surgical services, sleep center, home health, primary care, a walk-in clinic and specialty physician clinics.
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Legislative Advocacy

Washington State Budget: Big Challenges, Big Opportunities, Big Decisions

Our elected officials in Washington State have their work cut out for them during this year’s session, as they balance funding to adequately fund education, while maintaining and improving other critical programs such as health care. Governor Jay Inslee’s budget proposal, issued in late 2016, proposes expansion and reform of the state behavioral health system as a high priority (one which hospitals across the state strongly support) and also funding for education – including new revenue.

The Governor’s proposed budget presents a challenge for Olympic Medical Center because although it is progressive in many ways, it also proposes to cut payments to off-campus hospital-based clinics and departments. If enacted, the budget proposal could have devastating consequences to the health care OMC is able to offer Clallam County. The entire Sequim campus and Olympic Medical Center’s 8th Street Clinics would be deeply affected by this proposal due to reimbursement cuts of approximately $2.5 million annually. Olympic Medical Center’s off-campus hospital-based clinics and departments offer most of the only sources of specialty and diagnostic services for Medicaid or Medicare enrollees in Sequim. In the case of cancer care, Olympic Medical Center offers the only source of care for cancer patients in the entire County. Medicaid is also a main source of coverage for patients in the primary care clinics and the local Children’s Clinic. Medicaid already pays significantly less than the actual cost of providing care and the proposed cuts threaten access to these services for our entire community.

In Olympia this session, Olympic Medical Center will work to:

  • Prevent Medicaid off-campus hospital-based cuts from being included in Senate and / or House budgets, and ultimately the final State budget;
  • Improve the mental health system in Washington State; and
  • Support more timely placements for hospital patients who need long-term care.

Olympic Medical Center also supports the Washington State Hospital Association’s many policy and budget priorities that are designed to improve access to care, fight potential cuts in hospital reimbursement and maintain health coverage for Washingtonians.

Click here for a list of WSHA policy and budget priorities, including bill numbers and other helpful information to help you stay informed about what’s happening in regards to health care in our state’s capital. 

Urge Federal Legislators to Preserve Coverage

The Republican Congress and President Donald Trump's administration have made it a priority to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (also known as "Obamacare") during the convening of the 115th Congress.

Olympic Medical Center is joining the American Hospital Association and hospitals across the nation in urging our representatives and senators to preserve health coverage as part of any effort to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Legislation to repeal the ACA should not occur without either simultaneous replacement or a restoration of hospital cuts previously endured by hospitals to help support the expansion of Medicaid coverage. Olympic Medical Center in particular has experienced cuts to Medicare reimbursement rates annually to help pay for the Medicaid expansion – resulting in nearly $4 million in cuts in 2016 alone.

In 2017, Olympic Medical Center’s priority at the federal level will be advocating to ensure coverage is maintained for all individuals who received insurance coverage under the Affordable Care Act. In Washington State alone, the Medicaid expansion and health insurance exchange subsidies provided insurance and access to care for more than 700,000 low- and moderate-income working individuals! In Clallam County, more than 10,000 residents gained coverage through the Affordable Care Act, with more than 7,000 of those people receiving coverage through the Medicaid expansion.

The federal environment in regard to health care is relatively unpredictable; as new policies and legislation are firmed up and proposed for consideration, we will keep the community informed.

Remember, You Have a Voice with Your Legislators

We encourage you to educate yourself about current issues facing rural health care and reach out to your elected officials. If you're interested in advocating, please locate "How Can You Help Advocate" on the right side of this page. 

 

Budget Reconciliation "101"

The first step toward potentially repealing the Affordable Care Act began with the House and Senate passing a budget resolution that initiates a process called reconciliation. To learn about what reconciliation is, and why it’s important, please watch this video from the American Hospital Association on the reconciliation process.

How Can You Help Advocate?

Take an active role in helping to solve the health care crisis! Educate yourself about current issues facing the industry, and ask your state and federal representatives to ensure adequate funding for health care providers in Washington State.

Write to your legislators. Your letters count! Let your legislators know how you feel about health care decisions. After all, legislators rely on constituent input in order to be effective. Please visit our "Call to Action" section above (when applicable) to find template letters addressing current legislative concerns.

You can also click here to read the American Medical Association’s publication, “A Guide to Communicating with Members of Congress.”

Click here for contact information for federal representatives.

Click here for contact information for state representatives.

For more information on the work OMC is doing on Legislative Advocacy, email advocacy@olympicmedical.org.

Additional Advocacy Resources:

American Hospital Association's "Coalition to Protect America's Health Care".

American Medical Association's (AMA) "Patient Action Network".

Resources on this topic are also found at the AMA’s main website, www.ama-assn.org and at the Washington State Hospital Association’s (WSHA) website, www.wsha.org.

About Medicare

Medicare is the federal health insurance program, mostly covering people who are 65 or older.

Nearly 60% of Olympic Medical Center's patients are covered by Medicare. Currently, Medicare pays approximately 80% of the actual cost for providing health care for these patients, and further Medicare reimbursement reductions continue to be proposed.

Adequate Medicare reimbursement is critical to the future financial viability of Olympic Medical Center.

About Medicaid (Apple Health)

Medicaid is a health and long-term care coverage program that is jointly financed by Washington State and the federal government. Individuals between the ages of 19 and 65 (parents, and adults without dependent children) with incomes up to 138% of federal poverty level based on modified adjusted gross income are eligible for Medicaid (also known as Apple Health). Washington Apple Health continues to provide medical care for children in households with incomes up to 138% of federal poverty level.

Medicaid reimbursement is significantly below cost and Olympic Medical Center continues to advocate for adequate reimbursement from the program.

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