Wayne Memorial Urges Legislators to Extend MDH
The hospital’s Chief Financial Officer Michael Clifford says Wayne Memorial stands to lose approximately $1.7 million between now and the end of its fiscal year on June 30th, 2013. “This is a significant sum,” said Clifford, “and it will force us to look very closely at the viability of other services at Wayne Memorial.”
Wayne Memorial is one of only 200 hospital’s nationwide to have held the Medicare Dependent Hospital (MDH) status. To qualify, at least 60 percent of a hospital’s inpatient days or discharges during two out of its three most recent fiscal years must be attributable to beneficiaries entitled to Medicare Part A. Hospital reimbursements for these patients are lower than for most other patients, including the privately insured. As a consequence Medicare payments un-enhanced by the MDH program pose special challenges for rural hospitals, according to Wayne Memorial Chief Executive Officer David Hoff.
“We are urging our supporters to contact their legislators to re-instate the MDH program,” said Hoff. “There are two bills in Congress right now that would extend the designation. Both enjoy bipartisan support, but have yet to get out of committee.”
The two bills are under the same title, The Rural Hospital Access Act of 2012 and both call for an amendment to title XVIII of the Social Security Act “to provide for an extension of the Medicare-dependent hospital (MDH) program and the increased payments under the Medicare low-volume hospital program and for other purposes.”
• House of Representatives Bill 5943, sponsored by Rep. Tom Reed II (R-NY29)
• Senate Bill 2620, sponsored by Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY)
These bills are co-sponsored by 23 senators and 58 representatives, including Rep. Thomas Marino (R-PA10). A list of legislators’ contact information can be found on the home page of Wayne Memorial’s website at www.wmh.org.
“Wayne Memorial needs everyone’s help to continue to remain vital for all our patients,” said Hoff. “Help us extend the MDH program.”
Photo: Wayne Memorial Hospital Chief Executive Officer David Hoff explains the termination of the government’s Medicare Dependent Hospital designation to employees during a recent Town Hall Meeting at the hospital.