Four RI Hospitals to Receive Additional $5.75 Million in Medicare Payments
WARWICK, RI – In an effort to help ensure patients have access to quality health care services at Rhode Island hospitals, as well as support sustainable sources of jobs in the state, U.S. Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse and U.S. Representatives James Langevin and David Cicilline today announced that Kent, Newport, South County, and Westerly Hospitals will receive an additional $5.75 million in Medicare payments as a result of the renewal of a “wage index” adjustment by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) that accounts for different labor costs across the country.
“This additional federal funding will continue to ensure greater certainty for these hospitals and level the playing field for hospital staff so they are fairly paid for providing care to patients,” said Reed, who has been urging CMS to increase these reimbursement rates. “I have had many conversations with CMS over the years, and I am pleased the agency continues to respond to the delegation’s efforts to ensure Rhode Island’s hospitals are fairly reimbursed.”
“Today’s announcement is great news for Rhode Island hospitals – and ultimately, Rhode Island patients,” said Whitehouse. “The additional funding will bring parity to Rhode Island hospitals and help ensure that they have the resources needed to keep Rhode Islanders healthy.”
“As we fight for increased access to quality health care for all Americans, we must continue taking steps to ensure that the professionals delivering those services are fairly compensated,” said Langevin. “I have been pleased to work with my Congressional colleagues and CMS to provide a wage index adjustment that helps address the unique challenges of our labor market and ensures a more equitable reimbursement to Rhode Island hospitals, supporting a strong health care network that Rhode Islanders can rely on.”
“This new federal funding will help guarantee that Rhode Island health care workers are fairly reimbursed by Medicare for the invaluable care and services they provide,” said Cicilline. “I look forward to continuing my work with our entire federal delegation to ensure that Rhode Island’s health care system provides quality, affordable care for families across our state.”
The final regulation, issued on August 2, renews a hospital wage index adjustment for the Newport, Kent, South County, and Westerly Hospitals, which were consistently reimbursed based on a lower wage index than every other hospital in the state. Due to Rhode Island's size, this resulted in a severe payment disparity among hospitals located in close proximity to each other. This wage index, which was first established last year, will help ensure that patients in Kent, Newport, and Washington counties continue to have access to high quality health care services and that these hospitals remain a source of sustainable jobs in the state.
The new wage index is estimated to increase the Medicare reimbursements made to each of these four hospitals by the following amounts:
Newport Hospital is estimated to receive an additional $968,000 in Medicare reimbursement in FY14.
Kent Hospital is estimated to receive an additional $2.7 million in Medicare reimbursement in FY14.
South County Hospital is estimated to receive an additional $1.09 million in Medicare reimbursement in FY14.
Westerly Hospital is estimated to receive an additional $990,000 in Medicare reimbursement in FY14.