A invoice sponsored by Rep. Jacquelin Maycumber (R-Republic) would set up a pilot undertaking that will improve medical help funds for Washington suppliers in rural and underserved areas.
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Members of the Home Well being Care and Wellness Committee mentioned Home Invoice 1713 throughout a public listening to on Wednesday. Maycumber mentioned one of many major health-related considerations she hears from constituents is about entry to care, significantly from those that dwell in healthcare deserts.
“We speak about healthcare deserts, however what does that imply?” Maycumber requested. “That signifies that among the lowest-income individuals within the state, among the most tough for (accessing) transportation, must drive generally two to a few hours for entry to a healthcare supplier.”
Many rural suppliers say they’re typically not reimbursed the right quantity for his or her providers, and wish extra parity, Maycumber mentioned. These areas typically shouldn’t have sufficient suppliers to satisfy the demand for providers both, as many select to work in additional city areas the place they will earn more money, she mentioned.
“It creates a cycle within the discount of healthcare entry,” Maycumber mentioned. “And it’s actually vital that we be aware that in numerous these rural areas, you’re seeing much less and fewer suppliers are available, and extra retiring out.”
HB 1713 would set up a pilot undertaking to extend medical help program funds to healthcare suppliers and services that serve a specified variety of medical help and Medicare enrollees in rural areas, or areas with a excessive focus of people that have traditionally been marginalized and underserved with respect to healthcare entry.
Christopher Blake, committee workers, mentioned the pilot undertaking would apply to healthcare suppliers the place at the least 50% of their affected person encounters are from medical help enrollees or Medicare purchasers.
Beneath the pilot undertaking, the Washington State Well being Care Authority (HCA) would supply a rebalancing (elevated) fee to eligible suppliers on a quarterly foundation between July 1st, 2024, and July 1st, 2027, Blake mentioned. The rebalancing fee can be equal to the distinction between the supplier’s reimbursement attributable to providers offered to sufferers enrolled in medical help packages and the quantity the supplier would have been reimbursed had these providers been reimbursed at 100% of the price based mostly on Medicare reimbursement requirements.
“The HCA should submit a report on the outcomes of the pilot undertaking to the governor and the legislature by Dec. 1st, 2027,” Blake mentioned. “The report should talk about what number of healthcare suppliers or services obtained these balancing funds, the common quantity obtained, an evaluation on the affect of entry to care, and the standing of healthcare suppliers and services within the areas of the pilot undertaking.”
The report would additionally embrace suggestions for tactics to extra equitably reimburse suppliers, Blake mentioned.
“I deliver this invoice to you to have the dialog of those healthcare deserts,” Maycumber mentioned. “These individuals wrestle with entry to healthcare and, sadly, go with out. This invoice is delivered to you so we will speak about recruiting healthcare suppliers in these rural areas, and ensure funds can be equitable [compared to what] you’d see in additional prosperous areas.”
No motion was taken on the invoice.