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

Representative Kilmer Introduces The PLACE Act

U.S. House Representative Derek Kilmer has introduced The Protecting Local Access to Care for Everyone (PLACE) Act as a vehicle to halt the 2018 Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) rulemaking that dramatically cuts Medicare reimbursements for off-campus clinics. If enacted, The Place Act would help hospitals such as Olympic Medical Center, which faces a $1.7 million cut in 2019 and a $3.4 million loss in revenue annually starting in 2020. 

CMS finalized the rule in November of 2018, and implemented the decreased reimbursement starting January 2019. The cuts are for clinics that are more than 250 yards away from a hospital’s main campus, and affect Olympic Medical’s Sequim-based clinics and the Primary Care Clinic on 8th & Vine. 

The PLACE Act has bipartisan support, and aims to halt CMS’ ability to implement the rule and provide time for elected officials to address the problem more methodically at the legislative level. Further, in addition to introducing the legislation, the House Appropriations Committee voted on May 8 to include language authored by Rep. Kilmer in the Labor-HHS Appropriations bill expressing concern about the site neutral policy and urging CMS to reconsider the rule and take into account the potential effects to hospitals such as Olympic Medical that are designated as a Sole Community Hospital and are located in a Health Professional Shortage Area

OMC continues to fight the rule in court

Olympic Medical Center is one of three hospitals named as plaintiffs in an American Hospital Association lawsuit filed in December. The lawsuit challenges the CMS rule as unlawful, alleging that CMS exceeded its authority. The AHA filed a motion for summary judgement in February; the most recent brief was filed April 19. Olympic Medical is hopeful a summary judgment ruling will occur this summer; however, it is likely CMS will appeal if the AHA prevails in its lawsuit. A final ruling may not come until late 2020.

Keeping a steady eye on 2019 proposed CMS rules, expected in July

CMS will propose new outpatient rules in July of 2019. Olympic Medical will be watching closely to see if additional site neutral cuts will be introduced in the rulemaking policy, and will be ready to respond quickly if that occurs. Further site neutral policies would be very harmful for Olympic Medical Center and the local health care delivery system. 

State Advocacy Update

OMC secures Medicaid budget proviso, other state updates

The 2019 Washington State legislative session proved to be action-packed, and Olympic Medical Center is pleased overall with the attention given by elected officials to issues important to rural health care. 

Senator Kevin Van De Wege, Representative Steve Tharinger and Representative Mike Chapman graciously met with Olympic Medical Center officials on a nearly weekly basis in Olympia. Ultimately, the trio helped secure the continuance of a Medicaid budget proviso over the next two years that maintains Olympic Medical’s current Medicaid rate. A budget proviso to fund the continued expansion of the Allied Health program at Peninsula College was also included for an additional two years, supporting a program that trains registered nurses, medical assistants and certified nurse assistants. 

Olympic Medical in partnership with the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe was also able to secure capital funding for Jamestown’s Medication Assisted Treatment facility and a commitment to help support the development of a behavioral health campus in Clallam County. This is a necessary, forward-thinking project that had the strong support of our local elected officials. 


 

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.

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