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Schatz, Hirono Introduce Legislation To Increase Medicare Reimbursements For Hawai‘i Hospitals, Help Maintain Health Care Services For Seniors

WASHINGTON—U.S. Senators Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i), Mazie K. Hirono (D-Hawai‘i), Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska), and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) introduced legislation this week to increase the amount that hospitals in Hawai‘i and Alaska can be reimbursed by Medicare to perform outpatient care, such as emergency department visits and imaging services, for enrolled seniors. Historically, rural states have faced significant cost disparities for Medicare reimbursement that drive up costs for both hospitals and patients. This legislation would recognize the unique cost-of-living challenges that hospitals in Hawai‘i and Alaska face and would increase reimbursement for hospitals in both states to ensure that they can continue to serve seniors.

“To make sure hospitals in communities across Hawai‘i can continue to serve the seniors that rely on them, Medicare must recognize the real cost of providing health care in our state,” said Senator Schatz. “Our bill will help boost reimbursements to providers in Hawai‘i and make sure seniors have access to the health care services they deserve.”

“Hawai‘i’s unique geography and high cost of living makes accessing and providing health care more difficult, which is why hospitals in Hawai‘i have long received higher Medicare reimbursement for inpatient care than those in other states,” said Senator Hirono. “This bill would similarly raise outpatient Medicare reimbursements in Hawai‘i, helping to ensure our hospitals—especially on neighbor islands—have the resources they need to provide outpatient care for our communities.”

The full text of the bill is available here.