Maui News

Senators Reintroduce Bill to Adjust Medicare Payments for Hawai’i, Alaska Nursing Homes

September 29, 2021, 8:22 AM HST
* Updated September 29, 8:23 AM
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US Senator Schatz Brian. PC: Official headshot

US Senators Brian Schatz, D-Hawai‘i, Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, Mazie K. Hirono, D-Hawai‘i, and Dan Sullivan, R-Alaska reintroduced legislation that will provide for fair Medicare payments for nursing facilities in Hawai‘i and Alaska.

“Nursing homes are on the front lines of this pandemic and need all the support they can get to care for our most vulnerable residents,” said Sen. Schatz. “Our bill fixes the Medicare reimbursement rates so that Hawai‘i nursing homes get their fair share of federal dollars and have the resources to continue to provide high-quality care.”

The bipartisan Equitable Payments for Nursing Facilities Act will authorize a cost-of-living adjustment at skilled nursing facilities in those states to take into account the higher costs of delivering care.

While hospitals and certain other health care facilities in Hawai‘i and Alaska receive a cost-of-living adjustment under Medicare to account for higher non-wage costs, such as rent and utilities, nursing facilities do not, making it more difficult for these critical nursing homes to operate.

Companion legislation has been introduced in the House of Representatives by US Representatives Kai Kahele (D-Hawai‘i), Don Young (R-Alaska) and Ed Case (D-Hawai‘i).

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