Contact your congressional leader, the future of rural hospitals may be in your hands.

The ability for rural Missouri hospital’s to meet the needs of the communities they serve has come under fire and your assistance is needed to assist rural hospitals in Missouri in remaining viable.

Below is information from Herb Kuhn, President and CEO of the Missouri Hospital Association.  We need your help.  After reading what Herb has to say use the link available here to email Senators Blunt and McCaskill and Representative Hartzler to ask that they protect Medicare Dependent Hospitals like GVMH.  If you would like additional talking points you can use the link available here.  If you would like even more help knowing what to say you can copy and paste the email I sent which I will include below.

 Since early March, I have been actively monitoring the federal budget discussions and the potential for negative effects on hospitals. However, in the past few weeks, I have become increasingly concerned about the very real possibility of devastating federal cuts to Medicare and Medicaid.

It is not my style to “cry wolf,” and I don’t believe I’m overestimating the risk Missouri’s hospitals are facing as the federal government struggles to make cuts to programs in an effort to reduce the deficit and raise the federal debt ceiling. In particular, we are greatly concerned about proposals to reduce the federal cap on state provider taxes which would affect Missouri’s Federal Reimbursement Allowance program. Discussions of proposed reductions to the Medicare program are equally concerning.

Cuts to these programs would have a disproportionately negative impact on Missouri because of our aging population, poverty rate and reliance on provider taxes to fund the Medicaid program.  Provider assessments and the corresponding federal match provide 73.1 percent of the funding to Missouri’s Medicaid program. This isn’t just an issue of protecting the safety net as we know it; it is a discussion with implications for all Missourians.

Here’s the email I sent to our congressional leaders:

I recognize the need for budget reductions but I encourage you to protect rural, sole community, Medicare dependent hospitals from payment reductions.  On a daily basis I see firsthand the impact Golden Valley Memorial Hospital has on Clinton and surrounding area in providing basic health care services for some of the most vulnerable and needy in our community, those with Medicare and Medicaid.  I have firsthand knowledge of the difficulty Medicare Dependent hospitals have in keeping pace with technology, hiring qualified and competent medical professionals, meeting regulatory requirements and remaining financially viable.  Medicare and Medicaid program changes need to occur but not at the expense of Medicare Dependent Hospitals, those hospitals that provide core and basic health care services in some of our most underserved areas and to some of our most vulnerable citizens. 

About Craig Thompson

I am a young professional with two great sons, and I work in the healthcare setting. I am employed in hospital administration and serve as Chief Operating Officer at Golden Valley Memorial Healthcare in Clinton, Missouri. These are challenging and exciting times in healthcare and my blog will focus on healthcare, raising boys or being raised by boys, and living in mid America.
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