Medicare-Dependent Hospital Payments to Expire Oct. 1

John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media , September 26, 2012

"We definitely think it needs to be made permanent, but this is a tough climate," she says. "It’s kind of all about treading water right now and just making sure that patients maintain access to care and we keep those hospitals open and that is probably the best we can hope for in this climate until a new Congress comes into town."

And while the prospects look good for SB2620 in November, Elehwany says now is not the time for complacency. Members of Congress are back at home preparing for elections and they are particularly sensitive to the concerns of hospitals, which are often the biggest economic drivers in their communities. 

"Your representatives are going to be home for six weeks," she says. "Make sure you go to the district office and the state office and talk to the members of Congress. Invite them to your hospital. Show them the work you do in that community. That hospital CEO is the best advocate we can possible have. No member of Congress wants to see a hospital close in his or her district no matter what side of the aisle they’re on, especially when they see the great work these folks do. So we are having a significant grassroots push during this time and hopefully we can transfer that back to Washington, DC, when they come back into town."

John Commins is a senior editor with HealthLeaders Media.

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