WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senators Mazie K. Hirono (D-HI) and Brian Schatz (D-HI) joined Senators Dan Sullivan (R-AK) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) in introducing legislation to increase the amount that hospitals in Hawaii 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 Hawaii and Alaska face and would increase reimbursement for hospitals in both states to ensure that they can continue to serve seniors.
“Hawaii’s unique geography and high cost of living makes accessing and providing health care more difficult, which is why hospitals in Hawaii 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 Hawaii, 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.