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Missouri Senator backs bipartisan legislation to renew... - KOAM TV 7

Missouri Senator backs bipartisan legislation to renew key Medicare programs

Updated:

FROM THE OFFICE OF U.S. SENATOR CLAIRE MCCASKILL:

McCaskill BacksBipartisan Legislation To Renew Key Medicare Programs  

Senatorcosponsors RuralHospital Access Act that would extend Medicare programs, save Missourihospitals millions annually

WASHINGTON – U.S. SenatorClaire McCaskill is backing bipartisan legislation to renew Medicare programsthat are critical to rural communities and Medicare patients.

TheRural Hospital Access Act would extend Medicare payment programs thatare critical to the health of rural hospitals throughout the country. Theextension of the Medicare-Dependent Hospital (MDH) program and the Low-VolumeHospital (LVH) Program would save Missouri hospitals millions of dollarsannually, and allow rural hospitals to provide vital services to Medicarebeneficiaries within their own communities.

"Rightnow, Missourians in rural communities are relying on these Medicare programs toguarantee them access to quality healthcare services," McCaskill said. "We mustact to ensure that these rural hospitals can see some relief, and provide theservices that folks in rural Missouri depend on."

Medicare-DependentHospitals are more vulnerable to the adverse effects of declining Medicarereimbursement rates, with less capacity than other hospitals to offset theselosses with higher payments from private payers. The loss of MDH status wouldcost Missouri hospitals $12.5 million annually, based on fiscal year 2011 data.The loss of the LVH program would make it difficult for rural facilities toprovide additional services on a local level, meaning rural Medicarebeneficiaries would have to travel far outside of their own communities toreceive vital services.

A copy of the bipartisan legislation to reauthorize keyMedicare programs can be found HERE.

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