“Each year, the Commonwealth’s designated critical access hospitals face significant cuts in or proposed elimination of their funding in the state budget, and that ultimately threatens access to care in our rural areas,” Causer said. “This bill would ensure a fair level of reimbursement every year, without the threat of budget cuts, and put these valuable facilities in a better position to serve their patients.”
House Bill 278 would require the state’s Medical Assistance program to reimburse the state’s 13 critical access hospitals at 101 percent of MA’s allowable costs for inpatient and outpatient services. The hospitals already receive the same level of reimbursement from federal Medicare reimbursements.
Charles Cole Memorial Hospital in Coudersport is one of the hospitals affected by the legislation. To be designated a Critical Access Hospital, the hospital must be rural, located at least 35 miles from another hospital, have an average daily census of less than 25 patients and participate in the Medicare program.
The bill now heads to the Senate for its consideration.