WV’s Smallest Hospitals Like Those in Our Area Cannot Afford to Have Medicaid Reimbursement Pulled
Every member of West Virginia’s Congressional delegation is calling on those with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to take another look at revised regulations dealing with reimbursable costs for, what are considered, critical access hospitals.
With the changes, officials with the CMS are attempting to clarify the treatment of reimbursements for provider taxes.
Right now, CMS reimburses the state’s critical access hospitals for the provider taxes they pay under West Virginia law.
The changes would stop those reimbursements in the future, but also be applied retroactively, meaning the hospitals would have to pay back reimbursements from the past couple of years.
The change affects the state’s “critical access hospitals.“ Those are rural hospitals with 25 or fewer beds, like Roane General in Spencer, and Braxton County Memorial in Gassaway.
Second District Congresswoman Shelley Moore Capito says such changes could cost about 18 of the smallest, most rural medical sites in West Virginia millions of dollars.
“In certain areas, like in a critical access hospital or a community health center, you get a higher reimbursement rate because it’s important to have access in rural areas to be able to attract health professionals and all those kinds of things,“ Congresswoman Capito said.
She says that’s why, on this issue, West Virginia cannot be treated the same way as other states.
“If these facilities close, then if you’re sitting over in Calhoun County or something, you have an emergency, you have to come all the way to Charleston,“ she said. “That’s an hour and a half. That’s life threatening.“
She signed a letter, this week, asking the CMS to look closer at the issue.
U.S. Senator Jay Rockefeller, U.S. Senator Joe Manchin, First District Congressman David McKinley and Third District Congressman Nick Rahall all signed the letter as well.