HIT Funding for Dental Clinics
Situation. As Congress debated the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act (ARRA), WSC recognized that language intended to reimburse health providers for the costs of health information technology through Medicaid would exclude dental health clinics including its client, a major dental school that provides dental services to the indigent and the disabled.
WSC Work. WSC drafted legislative language and worked intensely with the committees of jurisdiction—all during a frantic period on Capitol Hill—to alter the final legislation to ensure that dental clinics throughout the nation will receive “bonus payments” to invest in needed health information technology.
Results. Congress adopted the WSC draft legislation as part of the final stimulus bill and, in 2012, the Department of Health & Human Services promulgated regulations to enact the provision resulting in millions of dollars in bonus payments for health information technology funding for its client and for dental clinics nationwide.
Statewide Medicare Enhancement Payments for Hospitals
Situation. The hospital industry in a densely populated northeast region recognized its state was one of only two in the nation ineligible for a Medicare rate enhancement known as the “rural floor.”
The absence of the rate enhancement placed the industry at a significant financial and competitive disadvantage.
WSC Work. WSC worked with the hospital industry and the state’s congressional delegation on a legislative solution to make the state eligible for an “imputed” rural floor payment enhancement.
Following months of negotiation, WSC helped Members of the U.S. House of Representatives negotiate the inclusion of the language as part of the Medicare Prescription Drug Act during a tense late night vote.
Results. Members of the state congressional delegation successfully negotiated with the White House and congressional leaders to have the language inserted in the prescription drug language which ultimately passed by 2 votes at 3:00 am.
Originally scheduled to sunset after three years, WSC has helped lead the effort to extend the provision three separate times resulting in hundreds of millions of dollars for the hospital industry.
Legislative Advocacy Tracy Mulroy