12.13.10

SCHUMER URGES FEDS TO GRANT AUBURN MEMORIAL HOSPITAL SPECIAL RURAL DESIGNATION THAT WOULD INCREASE FUNDING BY $2 MILLION AND IMPROVE CARE FOR PATIENTS

Being Named a 'Sole Community Hospital' Would Deliver 2 Million in Extra Medicare Dollars for Auburn; Give Doctors More Tools to Treat PatientsSince 2006, Auburn Memorial Has Made Dramatic Financial Turnaround, Now a Leading Regional Care Center

Today, U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer released a letter to Dr. Donald Berwick, Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) urging the agency to designate Auburn Memorial Hospital a 'Sole Community Hospital,' which would provide the hospital with approximately $2 million extra dollars in increased funding and more resources that will allow doctors to better treat their patients. In order to become a Sole Community Hospital, the Department of Health and Human Services' (HHS) Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) must determine that a hospital meets a host of criteria, such as being located 45 minutes away from the nearest acute care facility. 

 

"Auburn Memorial has shown itself to be a high quality rural hospitals and getting this designation would improve further the excellent treatment it already provides to our families and friends," Schumer said. "The extra resources this designation provides will prove critical for Auburn Memorial because it is the exclusive provider of care for such a large area. The hospital's financial turnaround since 2006 has been nothing short of amazing and these added resources would have a very positive impact."

 

When HHS designates a care center like Auburn Memorial a Sole Community Hospital (SCH), it begins to receive funding under the Prospective Payment System (PPS). The PPS funding formula allocates more resources to hospitals like Auburn Memorial that are in rural communities and serve large populations. Specifically, Auburn Memorial is more than 45 minutes away from the nearest like acute care facility one of the key requirements to be designated as a Sole Community Hospital. If Auburn Memorial is selected as an SCH, it will according to hospital staff, receive about $2 million in increased funding that will give the hospital more resources and allow doctors to build upon the already great care they provide for their patients.      

 

Auburn Memorial Hospital is located in the city of Auburn in Northern New York's Cayuga County, proudly caring for the local community since 1881.  This facility includes a 99bed fullservice community hospital, and the Finger Lakes Center for Living, which is an 80bed long term care nursing home.  Auburn Memorial Hospital serves a population of approximately 80,000 New Yorkers and is the only hospital in Cayuga County, an area of 693 square miles.  It is also located more than 45 minutes from Community General Hospital, the nearest like acute care facility. 

 

If designated a Sole Community Hospital, Auburn Memorial Hospital and its physicians would have great resources to devote to ongoing efforts to improve the quality of patient care and population health furnished to patients who live in more rural areas in Cayuga County. Today in his letter, Schumer urged HHS to grant Auburn Memorial this special designation and give the area's doctors access to more tools.

 

 

December 13, 2010

 

Dr. Donald Berwick

Administrator

Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services

5700 Security Avenue

Baltimore, MD 21244

 

Dear Administrator Berwick,

 

            I am pleased to write in support of the application submitted by Auburn Memorial Hospital for designation by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services as a Sole Community Hospital.

 

            Auburn Memorial Hospital is located in the city of Auburn in Northern New York's Cayuga County, proudly caring for the local community since 1881.  This facility includes a 99bed fullservice community hospital and the Finger Lakes Center for Living, which is an 80bed long term care nursing home.  Auburn Memorial Hospital serves a population of approximately 80,000 New Yorkers and is the only hospital in Cayuga County, an area of 693 square miles.  It is located more than 45 minutes travel time from Community General Hospital, the nearest like acute care facility, and this travel time is often increased even further by the unpredictable and inclement weather that regularly affects the region. 

           

In December 2006, the Final Report of the Commission on Health Care Facilities in the 21 st Century (commonly referred to as the Berger Commission Report in New York State) concluded that "…Auburn Memorial Hospital is necessary to preserve access to care…" in Cayuga County.  In addition, Becker's Hospital Review dated November 4, 2010, rated the Hospital's financial and clinical turnaround as the number two in the country. 

 

           If designated a Sole Community Hospital, Auburn Memorial Hospital and its physicians would have great resources to devote to ongoing efforts to improve the quality of patient care and population health furnished to patients who live in remote areas in Cayuga County.  I applaud the Auburn Memorial Hospital for its foresight and successful recent turnaround, and I hope the Auburn Memorial Hospital will achieve sole community hospital status.

 

Thank you for your consideration.  For additional information, please do not hesitate to contact my office at 2022246542.

 

 

 

Sincerely,

 

 

 

 

Charles E. Schumer

United States Senator

 



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