February 27, 2023
Providers | Tea Leaves
  • Fourteen rural-state senators are calling on the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to extend a payment policy that increases payments to hospitals in areas with lower overall wages, which is set to expire at the end of the government’s 2023 fiscal year. The Low Wage Index Hospital Policy (also referred to as the Lowest Quartile Adjustment Policy) was finalized in 2019 and has benefitted more than 800 hospitals across 23 states since going into effect in the fiscal year 2020, the bipartisan group of senators wrote. In the letter, sent Thursday to CMS Administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure, senators said the program has been “a valuable lifeline” for low-wage hospitals but acknowledged that “disruptions in the marketplace caused by the COVID-19 pandemic” have made it impossible to quantify the program’s full impact in just four years. (Article here)