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Vital Federal Medicare Reimbursement Programs Was Set To Expire This Past December Putting Rural Upstate NY Hospitals At Risk Of Major Funding Cliff


Schumer Secured Key Extension For Programs For Hospitals In Southern Tier, North Country, Finger Lakes And Beyond To Continue To Receive Millions In Funding To Maintain Care In Underserved Areas


Schumer: Lifeline Fed Reimbursement Program Just What The Doctor Ordered For Upstate NY Rural Hospitals & Families


After launching an all-out push in Upstate, NY last year, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer today revealed that he successfully was able to protect critical Medicare reimbursement programs in the just-passed, end-of-year spending bill that were set to expire, preserving millions in funding for Upstate’s most vulnerable hospitals.


“This 11th hour extension of the Low-Volume Hospital and Medicare-Dependent Hospital Programs is just what the doctor ordered for rural hospitals in the Southern Tier, Finger Lakes, North Country and across Upstate New York. Last year, I stood with health care workers and told them I would not stop fighting to get these vital federal reimbursement programs off life support, and now a promise made is a promise kept,” said Senator Schumer. “The Low-Volume and Medicare-Dependent Hospital Programs will give our rural health providers the shot in the arm they need to continue provide lifesaving medical care in rural communities across New York.”


Schumer explained that rural hospitals in Upstate New Yok face many challenges due to generally serving a population that has a higher percentage of Medicare beneficiaries and attending to a smaller volume of patients compared to urban and suburban hospitals. This means in order for rural Upstate hospitals to maintain services in these areas they are often reliant on federal assistance to maintain quality of care.


Both of the key federal programs - the Low-Volume Hospital Program (LVH) and Medicare-Dependent Hospital (MDH) Program - that help provide support to many of Upstate’s most underserved hospitals were set to expire in December of this year. The MDH program provides additional funding to rural hospitals with large shares of Medicare patients or 100 or fewer beds if their costs exceed Medicare inpatient payments. Similarly, the LVH program provides financial support for smaller hospitals that see very few patients and are located more than 25 miles from the next nearest acute care hospital. These two programs are critical financial lifelines to hospitals serving these underserved areas, many of whom would shutter without the support. 


Schumer launched an all-out push to save these programs, which if they had lapsed would have cost Upstate health systems nearly $145 million over the next decade. Including an estimated over $21 million in the Finger Lakes hospitals, over $25 million in the Southern Tier, over $41 million in the North Country, over $3.5 million in Western NY, over $4 million in the Hudson Valley, and over $43 million in Central New York and the Mohawk Valley regions.


In the end-of-year spending package, which Schumer led to passage in the Senate, last month he successfully fought to include a two-year extension of both the MDH and the LVH programs protecting these critical lifelines.


Schumer broke down the impact this will have on hospitals across Upstate New York below:



Low-Volume Hospital Funding 10-year value

Medicare-Dependent Hospital Funding 10-year value

A.O. Fox Hospital



Adirondack Medical Center



Bertrand Chaffee Hospital



Claxton-Hepburn Medical Center



Garnet Health Medical Center - Catskills



Guthrie Cortland Medical Center



Ira Davenport Memorial Hospital



Jones Memorial Hospital



Massena Hospital



Nathan Littauer Community Hospital



Newark-Wayne Community Hospital



Nicholas H. Noyes Memorial Hospital



Oneida Healthcare



Oswego Health



Rome Health



St. James Hospital



St. Mary’s Healthcare (Amsterdam)



The University of Vermont Health Network-Alice Hyde Medical Center



UHS Chenango Memorial Hospital



Westfield Memorial Hospital



Wyoming County Community Health System