Representatives Tom Reed (NY-23), Anthony Brindisi (NY-22), and Elise Stefanik (NY-21) today introduced the Access for Rural Communities Act (ARC Act), bipartisan legislation to cut red tape and help rural hospitals keep their doors open.
“We care about ensuring the hardworking people throughout rural New York have access to hospitals,” Reed said. “By slashing bureaucratic red tape we can guarantee the hospitals in our backyard are able to continue their mission of delivering healthcare to people in their times of need.”
The ARC Act would provide a legislative fix to a problem that arose for 16 rural New York hospitals as a result of a 2015 Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services decision. The 2015 decision created bureaucratic confusion and resulted in recoupment payments being sought by Medicare contractors from the local hospitals. This legislation would provide CMS with the authority to fix this bureaucratic confusion and help New York rural hospitals stay open.
“Maintaining access to health care for our rural communities is, unfortunately, often times a life or death issue,” Rep. Brindisi said. “Congress needs to do everything it can to keep the doors of these rural hospitals open. The ARC Act is a small step to ensuring Upstate New York communities have access to care.”
Local health care advocates praised the members’ legislation.
“We thank Representatives Brindisi, Reed and Stefanik for introducing this bipartisan bill in an effort to bring resolution to the Volume Decrease Adjustment,” said Dewey Rowlands, VP/Chief Financial Officer at Rome Memorial Hospital. “In light of the government’s efforts to stabilize fragile community hospitals, this will help those like Rome Memorial Hospital to continue to provide the essential services for the patients we serve.”