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Hirono Reintroduces Bill to Ensure Fair Medicare Payments, Make Cost-of-Living Adjustment for Hawaii, Alaska Nursing Homes

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Mazie K. Hirono (D-HI) reintroduced legislation that would provide for fair Medicare payments for nursing facilities in Hawaii and Alaska. The bipartisan Equitable Payments for Nursing Facilities Act, also led by Senators Brian Schatz (D-HI), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), and Dan Sullivan (R-AK), will authorize a cost-of-living adjustment at skilled nursing facilities in those states to take into account the higher costs of delivering care.

“Nursing homes provide essential care for our kupuna and other members of our communities,” said Senator Hirono. “Our bill will help ensure these facilities get the federal funding and support they need to continue serving our communities.”

While hospitals and certain other health care facilities in Hawaii and Alaska receive a cost-of-living adjustment under Medicare to account for higher non-wage costs—such as rent and utilities—than in other states, nursing facilities do not, making it more difficult for these critical nursing homes to operate.

Companion legislation was introduced in the House by U.S. Representatives Jill Tokuda (D-HI), Mary Peltola (D-AK), and Ed Case (D-HI).