Rural hospitals could lose Medicare payments - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Rural hospitals could lose Medicare payments

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MADISON (WKOW) -- The Wisconsin State Journal says forty-two rural hospitals in Wisconsin could lose special Medicare payments under a proposal by a federal fiscal watchdog agency.

The proposal is from the inspector general at the Department of Health and Human Services.  It would strip special payment status from two-thirds of the nation's critical access hospitals.  The hospitals are not considered to be in sufficiently remote areas.

Rural hospital leaders say losing the payments would threaten their ability to provide health care.  It could also hurt their local economies.

The move could save Medicare $1.1 billion a year.

A more limited budget proposal by the Obama administration would effect eight Wisconsin rural hospitals.  Those ones are within ten miles of another hospital.

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