PORT ANGELES — The Clallam County Commissioners on Tuesday approved a letter in support of U.S. Rep. Derek Kilmer’s legislation that would protect Olympic Medical Center from Medicare cuts imposed by the federal government.
The letter, which supports the Protecting Local Access to Care for Everyone Act, says the county agrees with the Gig Harbor Democrat’s assertion that hospitals should be encouraged to provide services closer to the people they serve.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) implemented the “site neutrality” rule in November, a move that cuts Medicare reimbursements by 60 percent at clinics that are more than 250 yards away from a hospital’s main campus.
OMC, which is now suing the federal government over the rule, stands to miss out on $47 million over the next decade if the rule sticks.
The hospital has already delayed construction projects in Sequim and has delayed hiring doctors.
“Reducing Medicare reimbursement for regional hospitals like OMC will result in the loss of a principal source of primary care for Clallam County families,” the letter says.
“We support your bipartisan legislation because it would prevent the CMS policy from being enacted so that rural community hospitals can continue to provide high quality, accessible health care to their patients.”
Kilmer represents the 6th Congressional District which includes the North Olympic Peninsula.
Reporter Jesse Major can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 56250, or at [email protected] dailynews.com.