(NASHVILLE, Tenn.) — Representative Timothy Hill (R-Blountville) today urged members of the House Republican Caucus to sign on to a letter supporting changes to the area wage index reimbursement formula in efforts to curb Tennessee’s rural hospital financial struggles.
The letter is part of an aggressive public comment period that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) offers to enable all parties for or against the proposal the ability to comment.
Under the current wage index, all 95 counties in Tennessee fall among the very lowest reimbursement rates in the entire nation, which has contributed to declining revenue, fewer resources, and staffing shortages within these facilities in recent years. Moreover, the wage index also covers less each year despite ever-rising medical costs.
By increasing the wage index, our rural hospitals will have additional financial support needed to continue operating so they can provide critical health care services to current and future generations of rural Tennesseans.
“Our rural hospitals must have funding and access to critical resources so they can continue to effectively serve the citizens who rely on them for quality care,” said Chairman Hill. “I urge my colleagues to join me in supporting the CMS wage index increase because it will level the playing field for our facilities and support their long-term sustainability.”
The public comment period runs through June 24, 2019. To submit comments electronically, please click here.
Timothy Hill is Chairman of the House Commerce Committee. He is also a member of the House Calendar & Rules Committee, as well as the Business, Utilities, Banking & Investments, and Life & Health Insurance Subcommittees. Hill represents Tennessee House District 3, which includes Johnson, and part of Carter and Sullivan Counties. Hill can be reached by email at: [email protected] or by calling (615) 741-2050.