Saturday, February 25, 2012

REED STANDS UP FOR UPSTATE HOSPITALS; Local clinics spared $20 million in cuts for outpatient services

Congressman Tom Reed reiterated today that Upstate New York hospitals will be spared from outpatient clinic cuts as a result of the recent deal to extend the payroll tax holiday.  Reed was one of the negotiators on the House Senate Conference Committee which came to the agreement.

“While this deal wasn’t perfect, I believe that working families make far better spending decisions with their money than  Washington politicians,” Reed said. “One of the over-looked aspects of the deal was that it spared $20 million in cuts to our rural outpatient clinics. People in rural areas depend on these clinics and I am glad to stand up for an agreement which did not  jeopardize our hospitals’ outpatient services.”

“I am likewise pleased that we were able to extend the ‘doc fix’ so that seniors who rely on Medicare do not lose access to their current doctor,” Reed added. “At the same time, we will continue the conversation on how to ensure that there are no negative impacts on the high-quality health care provided by our local hospitals.   Access to hospital care is a critical issue in places like the Southern Tier and Finger Lakes, and we will keep up the fight to ensure that they have adequate resources.”

Daniel Sisto, President of the Healthcare Association of New York State (HANYS) said, “We are grateful to Congressman Reed for being a voice on the conference committee in opposition to proposed cuts to hospitals outpatient department clinics which would have been particularly devastating for patient access to physician service throughout the Southern Tier.  We look forward to working with the Congressman to prevent this and any other cut to hospitals in the future.”

Eva Benedict, President and CEO of Jones Memorial Hospital in Wellsville, said, “the Congressman’s latest effort to protect patient access to physician services in outpatient clinics is evidence of his support to patients in rural communities and the hospitals that care for them.”

“The patients in our community rely on St. James Mercy’s outpatient clinics to provide the access to primary and specialty physician services otherwise unavailable in our rural area,” said Mary LaRowe, President and CEO of St. James Mercy Hospital in Hornell. Without the action taken by Congress last week, access to many of these critical services would be at risk.

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