James K. Reed, M.D., president and CEO of St. Peter’s Health Partners, was interviewed by the Times Union for its story on efforts currently underway to change the Medicare Wage Index rate, which would increase federal reimbursement for Capital Region Hospitals.
A provision has been included in the HEROES Act, recently passed by the U.S. House of Representatives. Local hospital leaders hope that the measure will be included in the final bill which could be voted on by the U.S. Senate in June or July.
From the article:
If accepted by the Senate, that change would mean an extra $5 million a year in federal funding for St. Mary’s Healthcare, said Vic Giulianelli, president and CEO of St. Mary’s. Ellis Medicine would receive an additional $15 to $20 million annually, said Milton. The proposed change would result in a revenue and operating earnings increase of $45 million annually for St. Peter’s Health Partners, said James Reed, its president and CEO.
Hospital leaders emphasized that the funds would better position the Capital Region to compete with nearby metropolitan areas, most of which have higher reimbursement rates. Hospitals in Utica, Syracuse, and Buffalo, and across the border in Pittsfield, Springfield, and Boston, Mass., all have higher reimbursement rates.
With more federal funding, Capital Region hospitals could increase pay for their roughly 34,000 employees or make infrastructure investments that they have deferred in order to keep up with competitive wage rates. In many cases, the hospitals are the largest private employers for their county.
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