Washington, D.C. –  Congresswoman Elise Stefanik has introduced legislation along with Congressman Brindisi (NY-22) and Congressman Reed (NY-23) to return millions in Medicare payments back to North Country hospitals. This legislation will fix an error the Medicare contractor for New York and New England made when determining a Medicare payment adjustment called the Volume Decrease Adjustment (VDA). This error has forced a total of 16 rural hospitals to repay more than $15 million with an interest rate of over 9 percent. VDA payments are intended to cover costs needed to maintain core staff and service necessary for continued operation of the hospital.

“The rural community hospitals in my district are financially vulnerable and rely on the Volume Decrease Adjustment to keep the lights on,” said Congresswoman Stefanik. “This legislative fix will help eight Sole Community and Medicare Dependent Hospitals in the North Country that care for our seniors and the most vulnerable. I am proud to partner with my colleagues in Upstate New York to support rural hospitals and promote quality and affordable health care for our constituents.”

“HANYS applauds Reps. Brindisi, Reed, and Stefanik for their steadfast support of New York’s not-for-profit small and rural hospitals,” said HANYS President Bea Grause, RN, JD. “The Access for Rural Communities Act would preserve access to care in rural communities across New York state by protecting critical Medicare Volume Decrease Adjustment payments for financially vulnerable hospitals. We look forward to working with the entire Delegation, under the bipartisan leadership of Reps. Brindisi, Reed, and Stefanik to secure passage of this important bill.”

This legislation will re-implement the VDA for eight hospitals in NY-21, including Adirondack Medical Center, Carthage Area Hospital, Champlain Valley Physicians Hospital Medical Center, Claxton-Hepburn Medical Center, Gouveneur Hospital (E.J. Nobel), Lewis County General Hospital, Massena Memorial Hospital, and Nathan Littauer Hospital.