Abraham, delegation secure more money for 22 Louisiana hospitals
WASHINGTON - Congressman Ralph Abraham, M.D., R-Alto, has secured additional funding for 22 rural hospitals throughout Louisiana after he and other members of the Louisiana delegation successfully convinced the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to revisit a ruling that affected these hospitals’ Medicaid reimbursement amounts.
CMS approves Disproportionate Share Hospital funds to Louisiana’s small rural hospitals (fewer than 60 beds) as required by the Medicaid State Plan Amendment (SPA). These payments are based upon estimates of these hospitals’ future anticipated Uncompensated Care Costs.
Should audits prove that a hospital has been overpaid through this system, those hospitals must pay back any excess money. However, CMS initially ruled that the recouped overpayments could not be used to better compensate hospitals that had been underpaid.
Dr. Abraham wrote a letter to CMS in September requesting that the agency revisit its decision and redistribute the overpaid funds to 22 rural hospitals that had been underpaid. Joining him on the letter were Sens. David Vitter and Bill Cassidy and Reps. Charles Boustany and John Fleming.
Dr. Abraham received word this week that CMS would in fact honor his and the delegation’s request, and the rural hospitals will receive more money.
“As a family doctor with a rural practice, I know firsthand how important Louisiana’s rural hospitals are for the health of those of us who live out in the country. Unfortunately, too many of these hospitals have to fight for every dollar they can get just so they can continue their mission of helping these underserved areas. I appreciate CMS for agreeing these hospitals deserve more money. Rural Louisianians deserve access to high quality medical care, and I will always fight for them,” Dr. Abraham said.
Rural Hospital Coalition Executive Director Charles Castille said, “On behalf of the Louisiana Rural Hospital Coalition, I want to thank Rep. Abraham for his assistance in getting CMS to reconsider their decision to not allow redistribution of these funds. This redistribution will be of significant benefit to our struggling rural hospitals in Louisiana."
The precise amounts of how much each hospital will receive has yet to be determined, however, because each affected hospital was underpaid they will receive some amount of money.
Hospitals in Louisiana’s 5th District, which Dr. Abraham represents, that will receive money include:
- Winn Parish Medical Center, Winnfield
- Morehouse General Hospital, Bastrop
- East Carroll Parish Hospital, Lake Providence
- West Feliciana Parish Hospital, St. Francisville
- Riverland Medical Center, Ferriday
- Madison Parish Hospital, Tallulah
- Hood Memorial Hospital, Amite
- Richardson Medical Center, Rayville
- Citizens Medical Center, Columbia
- Richland Parish Hospital, Delhi
- Jackson Parish Hospital, Jonesboro
Other hospitals that will receive money include:
- DeSoto Regional Health System, Mansfield
- Bienville Medical Center, Arcadia
- Assumption Community Hospital, Napoleonville
- Dequincy Memorial Hospital, Dequincy
- Sabine Medical Center, Many
- St. Martin Hospital, Breaux Bridge
- Reeves Memorial Medical Center, Bernice
- Franklin Foundation Hospital, Franklin
- St. James Parish Hospital, Lutcher
- Acadia-St. Landry Hospital, Church Point
- Prevost Memorial Hospital, Donaldsonville