Sen. Schumer announces new hospital payments

Aug 10, 2023 at 12:21 pm by Observer-Review

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer
NEW YORK STATE--U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer announced that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has officially finalized a rule that will have an estimated nearly $1 billion impact for increased payments to upstate New York hospitals every single year from the federal government.
“This is one of the biggest shots in the arm for federal funding upstate New York hospitals have seen in decades,” said Senator Schumer. “This will be a monumental boost to healthcare for our families and to help our healthcare providers fix budget shortfalls, address doctor and nurse shortages and so much more. For years, our hardworking healthcare providers have faced unfairly low Medicare payments, receiving cents on the dollar for the care they provide, but now after over a decade of fighting I am proud to announce I have secured the rules change which will bring nearly $1 billion every single year to hospitals across Upstate NY. Years from now, we will look back at today as a pivotal moment for our upstate New York hospitals. From Albany to Buffalo, and Binghamton to Watertown, hospitals big and small, in rural and urban areas, will finally get the support and full reimbursements they have long deserved and have been denied for too long.”
“‘CMS’ adjustment to the calculation of the wage index rural floor will have a tremendous positive impact on many of upstate New York hospitals and health systems,” said Healthcare Association of New York State (HANYS) President Bea Grause, RN, JD. “We are tremendously grateful to Sen. Schumer and Rep. Tonko for their steadfast dedication to New York’s hospitals and for ensuring CMS finalized this important provision. The resulting increased Medicare reimbursement to our providers will immediately help to sustain and bolster vulnerable New Yorker’s access to healthcare services.”
Schumer explained that the Medicare Wage Index rate is used to determine how much money the U.S. government pays hospitals for labor costs when they treat Medicare patients. Each area is assigned a rate that dictates whether they receive more or less than the national average for health care labor costs, however, historically hospitals in upstate New York had received less than the true cost of providing healthcare for the areas they served. For example, since the 1980s, hospitals in the Albany area have received only 86 percent of what the average hospital receives to account for wages, which is not reflective of the true wages and labor market in Albany. The new fiscal year 24 Inpatient Prospective Payment System (IPPS) rule will now increase the Capital Region’s adjustment to 122 percent of what the average hospital receives in wage adjustments.
For example, local increases in the Rochester-Finger Lakes region will amount to $242,572,031 and the Southern Tier will see $111,294,513.
Overall, Schumer explained that the new finalized rule change will amend the Medicare formula to include an estimated $967+ million in increased federal funding for hospital systems.
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