Peninsula: Olympic Medical Center chief joins senator in Medicare reform try

PORT ANGELES — Mike Glenn, CEO of Olympic Medical Center, will join U.S. Sen. Patty Murray on Tuesday in Seattle when she announces the MediFair Act.

The bill is one that Murray, D-Seattle, plans to introduce in the Senate to boost reimbursement rates for states like Washington that get less than the national average per patient from Medicare’s payment system.

The federal medical insurance program, which covers patients 65 and older as well as some disabled Americans, isn’t paying what it used to — particularly to family doctors and general practitioners.

Most doctors in Clallam and Jefferson counties refuse to take new Medicare patients because reimbursements are so low that they lose money treating them.

This causes acute problems on the North Olympic Peninsula because of the high percentage of retirees.

In some cases, local doctors say, they’re spending $3 per Medicare patient for every dollar, or less, in reimbursement.

Tuesday’s announcement will be made at Group Health Central Hospital in Seattle at 10 a.m.

Glenn will be with Murray to represent hospitals in Washington state. He will speak about Medicare’s negative effects on health-care centers.

Also attending will be four local U.S. congressmen — Norm Dicks, Adam Smith, Brian Baird and Jim McDermott — a doctor from the Washington State Medical Association, a nurse from the Washington State Nurses Association and a Medicare patient.


The rest of this story appears in the Sunday Peninsula Daily News. Click on “Subscribe” to get the PDN delivered to your home or office.

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