Medicare Funds Renewed
Local hospitals would have lost more than $4M in federal medicare payments if not for legislation written into the fiscal cliff deal that passed at the eleventh hour.
It's good news for hospitals, patients, and Schumer Because he made a promise during negotiations that he would restore the money.
The funding expired in september, but the fiscal cliff deal restored it retroactively.
A lot of hospitals in the area don't treat a large number of patients, but a lot of the people they do treat are medicare patients.
So, they really rely on the funds coming in through these programs.
"We have the third largest rural population in America. You wouldn't think that would you, but we do," said Sen. Schumer.
Sen. Schumer is touting his - and other sentors' - efforts to restore money for federal Medicare-Dependent programs for rural hospitals.
"So the low volume program said and then the medicare program in addition said 'We're gonna give a little extra money to lower volume hospitals so they can give equally excellent health care,'" said Sen. Schumer.
If the programs expired, hospitals would have seen some deep financial difficulties.
-St. Josephs in Elmira would have lost $1.69 million
- Corning Hospital: $804,000
- Ira Davenport in Bath: $570,000
- St. James Mercy: $535,000
"It's huge and it means we can continue to provide the quality care that we're used to and we expect to purchase equipments and modern technology to continue good care in the region, said Elmira Mayor, Sue Skidmore.
Senator Schumer also said the program helps ambulance companies, since they often have to travel long distances.
"We're having a lot of cutbacks in the medicare program these days and these will counter some of those cutbacks so we can maintain programs and services that we have in place now, said Anthony Cooper, President and CEO of Arnot Health.
Cooper says about 2 of every 5 Arnot-Ogden patients are sponsored by medicare; and the rate is even higher at St. Jospehs and Ira Davenport.
Arnot health alone employs more than 3,000 employees in the area.
The extension of the programs avoided what could have been a major set back for the community.