02.14.18

SCHUMER SECURES MAJOR VICTORY FOR UPSTATE NEW YORK’S RURAL HOSPITALS IN THE RECENTLY-PASSED, BIPARTISAN BUDGET AGREEMENT; DEAL INCLUDES 5-YEAR EXTENSIONS FOR THE VITAL LOW-VOLUME HOSPITAL AND MEDICARE-DEPENDENT HOSPITAL PROGRAMS ENABLING UPSTATE NEW YORK’S HOSPITALS TO CONTINUE TO GIVE NEW YORKERS THE CARE THEY NEED AND DESERVE

Congressional Inaction Caused Vital Medicare Payment Programs, Including The Low-Volume Hospital (LVH) And Medicare-Dependent Hospital (MDH) Programs, To Expire, Hurting Rural Hospitals Across New York State; Schumer Committed To Adding These Vital Programs To A Budget Agreement; Schumer Said Hospitals Across New York Rely On The Programs To Continue To Provide Top-Notch Care 

Senator Schumer Fought Tooth And Nail To Ensure That Programs Were Included In The Bipartisan Budget Agreement Passed Last Week 

Schumer: The Extension Of These Programs Will Give Many Upstate Hospitals A New Clean Bill Of Health 

U.S. Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer today announced that he successfully included legislation that renews and extends two vital hospital programs for 5 years. Schumer said the recently passed budget deal includes the extension of the Low-Volume Hospital (LVH) and Medicare-Dependent Hospital (MDH) Programs, both of which are essential to the health of rural hospitals across Upstate New York. Schumer said both programs are vital for the hospitals in rural New York, which are often under serious financial pressure due to a lower volume of patients and a higher percentage of Medicare beneficiaries than their urban and suburban counterparts. Both programs expired last year but were major components of the recently announced budget deal, which included a five-year extension of both programs and includes revisions that could increase payments to some New York hospitals in the Low Volume Hospital program and add additional hospitals to the program.

“The inclusion of five-year extensions of two at-risk federal health care programs – both of which are critical to the financial stability of rural hospitals across the state – is great news for New Yorkers. These hospitals serve a vital public need, employ several thousand New Yorkers across the state, and they deserve our support and long-term certainty in their continuous efforts to provide the highest level of care to residents,” said Senator Schumer. “With the passage of the budget deal, we were able to give our hospitals, patients, and employees some peace of mind and give these hospitals across New York State a clean bill of health . Extending these programs for the next five years was a no-brainer, and that is why I have pushed for their vital inclusion. Now, these hospitals can continue to provide high-quality healthcare and serve as the lifeblood of rural communities across Upstate New York.”

Schumer lauded the passage of the deal and the continued extension of these vital programs. The Medicare-Dependent Hospital Program provides support to four hospitals in New York that treat a high percentage of Medicare patients, and the Low-Volume Program impacts 20 New York hospitals that provided Medicare support to hospitals that are very important to rural communities but do not necessarily serve a high volume of patients. Schumer fought to include both programs in the budget deal, citing not only their importance in New York but to senior citizens, working families, and access to health care across the nation.

Schumer explained that rural hospitals face many challenges due to serving a population that has a high percentage of Medicare beneficiaries, providing care to more isolated communities where it is harder to achieve economies of scale, and attending to a smaller volume of patients in comparison to urban and suburban hospitals. As a result, these rural hospitals are often financially strained, making it difficult to provide the same, high-quality care as urban hospitals and medical centers. The LVH and MDH Programs help make these hospitals viable, and this five-year extension allows hospitals across Upstate New York to continue their necessary, high-quality work.

Specifically, the Low-Volume Hospital Program provides funding to the rural hospitals that are critical to the community but may not serve a high volume of patients. The Medicare-Dependent Hospital Program provides funding to hospitals who mainly serve Medicare patients, bringing greater financial stability to the hospital and leaving them more capable of serving these rural communities. For over 25 years, the federal government has provided funds to rural hospitals that qualify for these two programs through its dedicated Medicare funding stream in order to make sure they can provide the best care possible to rural residents.

"We are grateful to Senator Schumer for constantly fighting for policies that help New York's hospitals and health systems and the patients and communities they serve," said HANYS President Bea Grause. "Thanks to the Senator's strong leadership, safety net hospitals serving vulnerable populations across the state will see relief from over $820 million in Medicaid Disproportionate Share Hospital cuts, as well as much needed certainty from the extension of the Medicare Dependent Hospital program and Medicare Low-Volume payment adjustment that will provide nearly $80 million for New York's rural and small community hospitals."

Schumer has long been an advocate for the MDH and LVH programs. In April 2017 he introduced legislation with his colleague Senator Charles Grassley to permanently extend these two programs. In October 2017 Schumer joined patients, doctors, and administrators at Nathan Littauer Hospital in the Capital Region and HS Chenango Memorial Hospital (CMH) to call for both program’s immediate renewal. Schumer said the passage of the budget deal is a critical step to ensuring that rural residents have the same access and level of care as their urban counterparts.

A list of Hospitals that benefit from the extension appears below:

Hospital

County

MDH Funding FY 2018-2022 ($)

Ira Davenport Memorial Hospital

Steuben County

1,202,623

Nathan Littauer Hospital

Fulton County

6,620,127

St. Joseph's Hospital of Elmira

Chemung County

1,948,181

St. Mary's Healthcare

Fulton County

8,937,161 

Hospital

County

LVH Funding FY 2018-2022 ($)

Adirondack Medical Center

St. Lawrence County

6,104,400

Aurelia Osborn Fox Memorial Hospital

Otsego County

3,759,200

Alice Hyde Medical Center

Franklin County

4,656,300

Bertrand Chaffee Hospital

Erie County

2,044,400

Catskill Regional Medical Center

Sullivan County

3,273,200

Claxton-Hepburn Medical Center

St. Lawrence County

5,153,300

Cobleskill Regional Hospital

Schoharie County

2,558,000

Cortland Regional Medical Center

Cortland County

2,714,800

Ira Davenport Memorial Hospital

Steuben County

2,483,600

Jones Memorial Hospital

Allegany County

3,497,100

Massena Memorial Hospital

St. Lawrence County

4,217,500

Nicholas H. Noyes Memorial Hospital

Livingston County

2,458,300

Oneida Healthcare Center

Madison County

2,184,900

Oswego Health

Oswego County

1,445,200

St. James Mercy Hospital

Steuben County

2,569,000

UHS Chenango Memorial Hospital

Chenango County

4,714,300

United Memorial Medical Center

Genesee County

352,000

Westfield Memorial Hospital

Chautauqua County

10,500

Wyoming County Community Health System

Wyoming County

3,155,900 


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