Casey Applauds Senate Passage of Bill to Help PA Hospitals and Patients

WASHINGTON, DC— U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) today applauded Senate passage of the Medicare and Medicaid Extenders Act of 2010; important legislation that will help preserve access for Pennsylvanians to physicians, help hospitals pay higher wages and ensure children have access to life-saving medications.    

“I am pleased my colleagues in the Senate have recognized how important this legislation is to Pennsylvania and to the rest of the county,” said Senator Casey.  “This legislation will help correct what would have been a disastrous gap in Medicare reimbursements to hospitals in Northeastern Pennsylvania, help patients at Children’s Hospitals in Pittsburgh and Philadelphia receive necessary medication and allow older citizens continued access to physical and occupational therapy and speech language pathology services.”

The Medicare and Medicaid Extenders Act of 2010 includes several provisions Senator Casey advocated strongly for, including:

•           A one year extension of the Medicare Section 508 wage index reclassifications.  This helps about a dozen Northeastern Pennsylvania hospitals get higher reimbursements under Medicare and pay higher wages.

•           A technical correction for children’s hospitals related to the 340B drug discount program.  Correcting this provision allows children’s hospitals including Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh to continue to receive necessary medications at a reduced cost.

•           Funding for the reprocessing of Medicare claims made necessary by passage of the Affordable Care Act and other retroactive payment updates.  This will help to expedite the reprocessing of Medicare claims for 508 hospitals in Northeastern Pennsylvania.