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United States : Menendez, Booker, MacArthur, Pascrell, LoBiondo Applaud Continuation of Medicare Policy to Benefit NJ Hospitals, Ensure Patients Greater Access to Care.

U.S. Senators Bob Menendez and Cory Booker, and Congressmen Tom MacArthur (N.J.-03), Bill Pascrell, Jr. (N.J.-09) and Frank LoBiondo (N.J.-02) today announced that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) will extend for another year a key Medicare policythe imputed rural floorto provide New Jersey hospitals with fair and equitable payments to support physicians and other health care professionals providing care to seniors and low-income patients.

Being one of only three all-urban states, providers in New Jersey are often excluded from policies designed to help address some of the unique needs hospitals face, but by extending the imputed rural floor for another year, hospitals in our state will be able to continue to deliver high-quality care for its patients, said Sen. Menendez, a senior member of the Finance Committee, which oversees federal health policy. This gives New Jersey hospitals security in knowing that the wage-based Medicare reimbursements will be fair and equitable. I am once again pleased that CMS is continuing to value the care provided by hospitals in New Jersey.

This extension of the Medicare imputed floor wage index for another year will yet again help level the playing field for New Jerseys hospitals, said Sen. Booker. The imputed rural floor provides not only much-needed equity in Medicare reimbursements for New Jerseys affected hospitals, but it also allows our state to continue to provide high quality healthcare to our residents. I am proud to stand with the entire New Jersey delegation to continue to support this important policy until we can implement a permanent solution.

"The extension of the imputed rural floor is a huge win for New Jersey. This extension will bring millions of dollars to our state and will help our hospitals continue to provide quality care for the most vulnerable New Jerseyans, said Rep. MacArthur. This was a priority for New Jersey and a priority for me, which is why I fought hard for this over the last few months. I am proud to have led our delegation, along with Senator Menendez and Congressman LoBiondo, in calling for this vital extension, and I appreciate the Trump Administration for granting it."

The Administration was right to have reversed course, listening to the bipartisan New Jersey delegation call to extend the imputed rural floor, said Rep. Pascrell, New Jerseys only member of the House Ways and Means Committee, which oversees Medicare. The policy provides necessary protections to New Jerseys hospitals and ensures they are treated fairly after years of being disadvantaged because of New Jerseys status as an all-urban state. Although this one year extension is welcome news, I strongly urge CMS to address this issue permanently, so New Jersey hospitals arent left in limbo year after year.

"CMS decision to extend the imputed rural floor is welcome news for New Jersey and will ensure our hospitals are able to continue serving New Jersey residents most in need. A critical priority for New Jersey, I applaud the bipartisan effort of our delegation to strongly advocate for this extension, said Rep. LoBiondo.

Sen. Menendez has been the key Congressional champion of this policy for several years, providing the states hospitals with hundreds of millions in additional Medicare wage payments. In May, Sens. Menendez and Booker, and Reps. MacArthur, Pascrell and LoBiondo led a letter, signed and all 14 members of the New Jersey delegation, to CMS calling for an extension of the imputed rural floor.

New Jersey is one of only three states in the nation deemed to be all urban under Medicares wage payment policy. As such, the states hospitals are unable to benefit from several Medicare policies that benefit rural states. The imputed rural floor allows New Jerseys hospitals to effectively compete for the highest quality health care talent available by providing equity with rural states. This policy will now be extended through FY 2018.

Thank you to Sens. Menendez and Booker and all the members of the New Jersey delegation who joined together in a bipartisan fashion to extend the imputed floor for New Jersey hospitals and patients. We especially want to acknowledge the work of Congressman Tom MacArthur for his leadership and outreach to members of the Administration to educate them about the unique concerns of an all-urban state like New Jersey, said Betsy Ryan, CEO of the New Jersey Hospital Association. This floor extension now ensures that New Jersey healthcare providers will receive federal payments that are fair and equitable with other states that have the protection of a rural floor.

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Publication:Mena Report
Date:Aug 4, 2017
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