Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Why Advocacy Matters

Early on in my career, I realized that it was worth the effort to build relationships with our elected officials. I’ve been honored to go to Washington, D.C., with the Pow-I80 delegation several times. It gives us an opportunity to talk directly to our Congressmen about issues that affect our county and even our region.

Since 1994, I’ve been working with our Congressional delegation to change the Medicare reimbursement rules that put hospitals like GRMC at a distinct disadvantage. GRMC board members, staff, and community supporters have traveled with me to Washington, D.C., to share our message.

In a nutshell, GRMC is paid less than what it costs us to provide services to patients who rely on Medicare for their insurance. GRMC is too large to be a Critical Access Hospital and too small for a Rural Referral Hospital. There are seven hospitals in Iowa who fall into this “tweener” category with us including Burlington, Carroll, Ft. Dodge, Keokuk, Muscatine, Newton, Spencer, and Spirit Lake.

Senators Grassley and Harkin and Rep. Boswell and their staff members have been working with us to amend the Medicare reimbursement rules to remove this unfair payment system. We are actually working together to change Medicare law. Often people say that an Act of Congress is harder to work with than an Act of God. Some days, I wonder.

The postings on this site are my own and don’t necessarily represent GRMC’s positions, strategies, or opinions.

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