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Lawmakers praise rule change to help Alabama’s struggling hospitals

Rickey Stokes

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Posted by: RStokes
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Date: Aug 04 2019 12:32 PM



WASHINGTON, D.C. (WSFA) - Alabama lawmakers are praising the finalization of a rule change that should help financially struggling hospitals around the state. Since 2011, a total of 13 hospitals have close their doors, including seven in rural areas.






“Alabama hospitals have suffered the negative effects of the Medicare wage index for over two decades,” said U.S. Senator Richard Shelby, R-Alabama, who praised the change.






Friday, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, or CMS, finalized a proposed rule that provides relief from the increasing disproportion of reimbursement to hospitals created by the Medicare wage index.






Alabama currently has the lowest wage index in the nation, according to the Alabama Hospital Association. CMS used what lawmakers believe was flawed wage index data, based on regional labor costs, to determine Medicare reimbursement levels for hospitals in a particular area.


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