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Grays Harbor Community Hospital looking for support

January 16, 2014

As the Legislature continues their first week of the 2014 session, the Grays Harbor Community Hospital is asking residents to show support for the facility.

In a statement, CEO Tom Jenson said that they need help securing funding through 2 bills currently being proposed in Olympia; House Bill 1916 and Senate Bill 5829. These bills will increase Medicaid reimbursement, bringing it more in line with the compensation of Federal Medicare rates.

“The current Medicaid reimbursement is less than the cost for services provided”, Jenson said in the statement, “These two Bills will ensure our long term viability as an organization and safeguard essential quality care in our Community for generations to come.”

Jenson writes in the statement that “Medicare, Medicaid or other government programs provides 72% of GHCH’s revenue. Most urban hospitals are in the 50%-60% range for government covered patients. Over 7% of Grays Harbor Community Hospital’s patients do not have insurance of any kind. The State’s Critical Access program addresses this issue for over 90% of rural hospitals however, not for Sole Community Hospitals who do not receive similar reimbursements. These patients are vulnerable and typically do not have the economic means to travel and seek other forms of medical care; they rely on their Community Hospital.”

Passage of the bills would create a “Sole Community Hospital” designation to assist rural health facilities. The hospital says that without the designation, Grays Harbor Community Hospital may be required to eliminate additional jobs.

For more information on the legislation you can visit http://www.leg.wa.gov and search Senate Bill 5829 and House Bill 1916.

To find out how you can support the hospital, click here.


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