July 21, 2020 | FAH Policy Blog Team
Local leaders across the country are sounding the alarm and urging lawmakers to revise the terms of the Medicare Accelerated and Advance Payment Programs (MAAPP) before it starts to affect access to patient care. On or around August 1, hospitals could lose all Medicare fee-for-service payments – a devastating blow to frontline caregivers still battling the coronavirus crisis.
FAH launched a countdown initiative highlighting the imminent threat MAAPP poses to local hospitals nationwide. To learn more about MAAPP and how policymakers can improve the programs, visit FAH.org/MAAPP.
Here’s What They’re Saying…
"MAAPP repayment terms call for hospitals that have begun repayment to have 100 percent of their Medicare payments withheld until loans have been completely repaid. For rural health care providers, withholding all Medicare payments will be financially devastating. Sens. Crapo and Risch must prioritize adjusting the terms of MAAPP loans to provide hospitals serving rural Idaho greater flexibility." - Gretchen Manning, nurse at St. Lukes Hospital.
Hamilton County Reporter: Loan repayment terms hurt hospitals’ efforts to fight COVID-19
“Now, however, the strict repayment terms of these MAAPP loans threaten to undermine the positive impact the loans have had. These terms could end up hurting the very same hospitals they were intended to help. Congress must rectify this situation before it is too late, and Senators Todd Young and Mike Braun should help by lending their support to this effort.” - Beth Henderson is a small-business owner, registered nurse.
Columbus Republic: Congress must update loan repayment terms to protect hospitals
"Congress must work to update the outdated loan terms by extending the loan repayment start date, extending the repayment period, and, in cases of extreme hardship, forgive these loans so that doctors and hospitals across our state and country can remain fully prepared to take care of their communities." - Doug Leonard, former president and CEO of the Indiana Hospital Association and Columbus Regional Health and current executive director of the Alliance for Substance Abuse Progress.
Iowa Field Report: Hospitals Just Days Away from Even More Financial Trouble
“What is the impending impact here in Iowa? The Federation of American Hospitals has an online tool that paints a picture of the payments that have been received in each state. In total, more than $ 1 billion has been loaned to hospitals and health care providers in Iowa.” – Luke Martz
Twitter – Dr. Marianette Miller-Meeks, US House candidate IA-02
“As a doctor, I understand just how important it is for rural hospitals to keep their doors open. In the fight against COVID-19, they shouldn't also face the threat of closure. Congress must adjust #MAAPP loans now. #IA02 http://Fah.org/maapp”
Herald Register (print): Iowa's Rural Hospitals Face Mounting Financial Pressures
"Senators Charles Grassley and Joni Ernst can help protect Iowa's rural hospitals and patients by working to update MAAPP loan repayment guidelines before our caregivers on the frontlines take yet another blow - this time, one from which they may not be able to recover." – Ed Hatcher, Board Member Emeritus, Unity Point Health - Ginnell Regional Medical Center
Cedar Rapids Gazette: Rural hospitals need congressional help
"I encourage Sens. Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst, who have long supported our hospitals, to push for bigger, much-needed changes — including extending the start of loan repayments to a year and the total repayment period to at least 36 months." – Marlys Popma
Northern Kentucky Tribune: Congress must protect access to care for Kentuckians, needed resources for hospitals
“Now is not the time to be denying Medicare payments for hospitals and providers. That will only undermine their ability to continue providing quality, comprehensive care for patients and entire communities. Senators McConnell and Paul should push Congress to reduce the amount of repayment taken from Medicare claims from 100 to 25 percent per claim.” – Kyle Keeney is the founder and director of the Kentucky Access to Care Coalition
Medical News: Sen. McConnell: Help Ease Burden on Kentucky Hospitals
"Senator Mitch McConnell should use his influence as Senate Majority Leader to push for critical updates to MAAPP loan repayment guidelines to help protect our nation’s hospitals, particularly vulnerable rural ones serving at-risk patients." – Susan Murphy, biotech consultant and board member for the Kentucky Life Sciences Council
“Our Senators should make it a priority to fix these outdated MAAPP loan repayment terms by extending the start of loan repayments to at least 12 months; reducing the amount of repayment taken from Medicare claims from 100% to 25%, waiving the interest rate or at the very least reducing it to 1%.” – Howard Castay Jr., owner of Castay Media and a board member of the Teche Action Clinics
"This cannot wait. By Aug. 1, it will be too late and the challenges facing Louisiana hospitals and could be insurmountable. Our senator and Congress should act soon to keep Louisiana hospitals strong and protect vulnerable patients." – Markalain Dery, medical director for infectious diseases, Access Health Louisiana
The County: Collins is working for rural hospitals
"In addition, current MAAPP terms dictate that once hospitals begin repayment, they will lose their Medicare fee-for-service payments until they have paid off their loans in full. Losing these payments is equivalent to cutting an average of approximately 25 percent of a hospital’s total payments. This would be devastating for struggling rural hospitals that tend to treat a larger share of Medicare recipients." - State Representative Dustin White
Mooresville Tribune: COVID-19 is nationwide crisis that is hitting close to home
“We urge all U.S. Senators, including Senator Burr, to stand with hospitals and make the necessary changes to the Medicare Accelerated and Advance Payment Programs — including adjusting the repayment timeline and lowering the interest rate.” – Stephen Midkiff, CEO of Lake Norman Regional Medical Center and Josh Snow, CEO of Davis Regional Medical Center
Ponka City News: COVID-19 is hitting us hard at home
“Medicare fee-for-service patients make up approximately 42% of our total patients and losing 100% of payments for those services is a catastrophic blow.”
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