Alexander, Corker Urge Extension Of Medicare Payments For Rural Hospitals In Tennessee

Thursday, December 21, 2017

United States Senators Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker on Thursday sent a letter to Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) requesting the committee extend Medicare payments that are critical to small, rural hospitals in Tennessee.  

“We are writing to request that you consider including an extension of the low-volume adjustment (LVA) for hospitals with offsets at the same rate the program was funded before its expiration on Sept. 30, 2017, in the final health care extenders package. Medicare payments such as these are critical to small, rural hospitals in Tennessee and it is important that Congress provide these facilities some certainty that future funding for this program will remain level,” the senators wrote. 

Tennessee hospitals would lose over $5.4 million in reimbursements over the next five years if the Senate Finance Committee’s proposed changes for eligibility become law, according to the Tennessee Hospital Association. The Tennessee senators said it is important that Medicare funding is included in the final health care extenders packages because these payments are critical to small, rural hospitals in Tennessee. 

The full text of the letter is below, and a link is available here

December 21, 2017 

Dear Chairman Hatch: 

We are writing to request that you consider including an extension of the low-volume adjustment (LVA) for hospitals with offsets at the same rate the program was funded before its expiration on September 30, 2017, in the final health care extenders package. Medicare payments such as these are critical to small, rural hospitals in Tennessee and it is important that Congress provide these facilities some certainty that future funding for this program will remain level.  

The Senate Finance Committee’s discussion draft released in October includes a five-year extension of the LVA, but also makes changes to the eligibility threshold for the payment adjustment. According to the Tennessee Hospital Association, this proposal would result in a nearly $5.4 million reduction in reimbursements for Tennessee hospitals over the next five years when compared to pre-expiration funding. Hospitals in rural Tennessee serve as job creators and economic engines in communities, and our state has seen eight hospitals close in recent years. 

As you continue negotiations on other health care extender policies, we hope you will consider extending this program at pre-expiration levels to give our rural hospitals stability so they can make long-term, financial decisions to serve the best interests of their patients and communities.



Chattanooga Heart Ball Nets $404,000 For American Heart Association

The American Heart Association’s 31st Annual Heart Ball, chaired by John and Lynn Anderson, netted over $404,000.  Proceeds from this event will help The American Heart Association reach their 2020 Impact Goal to improve the cardiovascular health of all Americans by 20 percent and reduce deaths from cardiovascular diseases and stroke by 20 percent by the year 2020. Over ... (click for more)

Breathe Easy Mobile Lung CT Coach To Visit Walker County

CHI Memorial’s mobile lung CT coach will provide computerized tomography screenings at the Walker County Health Department, 603 E Villanow St. in Lafayette on Wednesday, June 6, from 10 a.m.-3 p.m.   "Lung cancer screening is a test to look for signs of lung cancer in otherwise healthy people. The low-dose CT scan shows a 3-D image of your lungs that is clearer and ... (click for more)

Jury Finds Donaldson Guilty Of Second-Degree Murder In Killing Of Son-In-Law

A Criminal Court jury late Friday afternoon returned a verdict of guilty of second-degree murder against Glen Donaldson in the killing of his son-in-law, Adam Levi. He is facing 15-60 years in state prison. Judge Don Poole will set the sentence at a sentencing hearing on July 12.  He has been free on bond, but was taken into custody after the verdict. The jury deliberated ... (click for more)

1st Vote On Controversial Signal Mountain Grocery Proposal Set June 13; Town To Choose Either Tennessee American Or Waldens Ridge For Water Service

The next steps in rezoning 617 Cauthen Way were discussed at the Signal Mountain work session Friday afternoon. Since the last council meeting, Town Manager Boyd Veal created a list of conditions to include in the zoning ordinance relating to the proposed commercial development designed to assure that there is no negative impact to the surrounding properties or to the interest of ... (click for more)

Speaking Of A Cove

Mr. Sole Commissioner Whitfield,   I live in  a cove in western most Chattanooga. My back yard is woods. My front yard is woodland too. My neighbors and I had chance to voice our disagreement in 1996 to the proposed sale of a portion of the farm that dominated this cove and we did. There weren’t very many of us. One member of the group that listened to ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Saturday Funnies

Today’s edition of The  Saturday  Funnies is the most technical savvy, advanced, software-enhanced, and modern-day genius that I have ever delivered. I can sum it up in just one sentence: I am using a new H-P Pavilion that is the newest seventh-generation Intel Core computer and, if you want to see “real funny,” go get a new computer and try switching over your tech ... (click for more)