Scheurer Hospital President Urges Lawmakers to Support Small, Rural Hospitals
Posted on March 01, 2018
On March 1, Terry Lerash, president and CEO, Scheurer Hospital, Pigeon, addressed members of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Health and Human Services about the state’s healthcare budget and the important role small and rural hospitals serve in communities and regions throughout Michigan.
In his remarks, Lerash discussed how a federal Medicaid managed care rule change impacted two state funding sources that are vital to small and rural hospitals: the small and rural access pool and the obstetrics stabilization fund. Due to the federal rule change, the payments from these pools cannot continue as they have in the past and must be redesigned. While the necessary changes are numerous, simply stated, the state will now be limited to using general funds for direct payments to small and rural hospitals, including the payments for labor and delivery services.
In addition, Lerash, speaking on behalf of Michigan’s small and rural hospital community, asked subcommittee members to add $3 million to the state healthcare budgets for fiscal years (FYs) 2018 and 2019. This funding would not entirely offset the adjustment to the pool payments that occurred as a result of the federal rule change. However, when combined with the growth in provider tax payments, the additional funding would come close to keeping small and rural hospitals at FY 2017 payment levels.
The March 1 subcommittee meeting officially kicked off legislative work on the FY 2019 state healthcare budget. The Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Health Services will begin work on its version of the healthcare budget March 6. Overall, the MHA has supported the executive budget recommendation that Gov. Rick Snyder and state officials presented to the Legislature Feb. 7.
The MHA will continue to keep members updated throughout this year’s state budget cycle. Members with questions should contact Laura Appel at the MHA.
Photo Captions: Scheurer Hospital President and CEO Terry Lerash testifies on behalf of Michigan’s small and rural hospital community.
(Second photo) Scheurer Hospital President and CEO Terry Lerash (right) spoke with Rep. Ed Canfield (R-Sebewaing) about healthcare in Michigan’s Thumb region.
Posted in: Issues in Healthcare, Top Issues - Healthcare