By Kyle Lovern
November 6, 2013
HUNTINGTON – Visiting the Midland Meadows Senior Living community and HealthSouth Rehabilitation Hospital, both in Cabell County, U.S. Rep. Nick Rahall (D-W.Va.) Tuesday listened to the concerns of seniors and care providers and underscored his opposition to budget cuts that would weaken Medicare and undercut access to health services for West Virginia’s seniors.
“Improving access to health care for all West Virginians requires a robust Medicare program that can support our doctors and hospitals so that they can effectively treat their patients. I am standing pat against proposals that would not only raise costs and undermine coverage for seniors, but also cut payments to our physicians and health care facilities that rely on equitable reimbursements to keep their doors open,” said Rahall.
Rahall toured the Midland Meadows Senior Living campus in Ona, where he spoke with the facility’s director and discussed legislation he has cosponsored to ensure that seniors are covered by Medicare for rehabilitative care in an assisted living facilities after a hospital visit. He also visited the HealthSouth Rehabilitation Hospital in Huntington, where he met with hospital officials and staff to discuss Medicare payments for inpatient rehabilitation facilities.
Rahall expressed concern about suggestions to curb payments to assisted living facilities and rehabilitation hospitals, and also broader budget negotiations to reform the physician payment formula under Medicare.
“The current payment formula for physicians is flawed and we need to create a lasting solution that ends the cycle of proposed fee cuts and short-term patches. I have listened to the concerns of our health providers and remain in regular contact with the Medicare officials to push back against any administrative and legislative changes that would negatively affect the work of the dedicated professionals who care for seniors in our State,” said Rahall.