Schumer: Medicare reimbursement changes finalized; $40M extra coming annually for north country hospitals

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Sen. Charles E. Schumer announced Wednesday that a new rule regarding how hospitals are reimbursed through Medicare payments has been finalized, bringing millions of additional dollars annually to several north country hospitals.

Schumer, D-N.Y., who has pushed the federal Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services for years for changes in the Medicare Wage Index, said in a statement that correcting what he described as “unfairly low” Medicare payments will lead to improvements in healthcare for all families and communities in Upstate New York.

“This is one of the biggest shots in the arm for federal funding Upstate (New York) hospitals have seen in decades,” the senator said in the statement. “This will be a monumental boost to healthcare for our families and to help our healthcare providers fix budget shortfalls, address doctor and nurse shortages and so much more.”

Watertown’s Samaritan Medical will see the largest increase in Medicare Wage Index payments in the area, $7.5 million annually, followed by Claxton-Hepburn Medical Center in Ogdensburg at $7.2 million, Canton-Potsdam Hospital at $5.5 million and Massena Memorial Hospital at $1.5 million.

Adirondack Medical Center in Saranac Lake is expected to realize $4.9 million in additional annual payments, while the University of Vermont Health Network-Alice Hyde Memorial Center in Malone will see $4.3 million in extra payments. UVHN-Champlain Valley Physicians Hospital in Plattsburgh will receive $10.8 million.

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