On behalf of its eight system hospitals in northern Michigan, Munson Healthcare regularly analyzes and takes positions on public policy issues that impact the delivery of health care in our service area. We communicate our position to policymakers to help them make informed decisions that will preserve and enhance access to high quality health care services close to home.
Our positions on policy:
Munson Healthcare urges the rejection of proposals to implement site-neutral payments. Munson Healthcare system hospitals in Charlevoix, Cadillac, Kalkaska, Frankfort, Gaylord, Grayling, Manistee, and Traverse City are the safety-net health access sites for their rural communities. These facilities are open to all patients, regardless of their ability to pay, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The staff and facilities are prepared to respond to all types of disasters. These facilities are subject to comprehensive licensing, accreditation, and regulatory requirements. These facilities make a difference and the site-of-service payment differential for hospital outpatient departments fairly recognizes this difference. Making additional cuts to hospital outpatient payments threatens beneficiary access to essential health services.
Medicare Audit Improvement Act of 2013 (H.R.1250)
Munson Healthcare has been battling with Recovery Audit Contractors (RACs) for several years, and we strongly support much-needed reforms the RAC. Munson Healthcare is forced to spend excessive time and resources fighting incorrect RAC denial of claims. Our track record for many years is that we submit claims for payment that are accurate, necessary and supported by clinical guidelines. The claims that are denied by the RAC are typically two to five years old. In the end, after much time and expense, Munson Healthcare wins a majority of the claims on appeal. Medicare beneficiaries are hurt financially if their inpatient stay is denied by a RAC, possibly resulting in higher out-of-pocket expenses. H.R.1250 will help to achieve RAC reform and benefit patients in northern Michigan.
Michigan Auto No-Fault Reform
Rural hospitals like Munson Medical Center and trauma physicians practicing in rural areas are especially vulnerable to any reductions in payments that might result from an overhaul of auto no-fault insurance. Such reductions would result in costs being shifted to Medicare, Medicaid, and health insurers – resulting in a likely increase in the amount of uncompensated care for hospitals and physicians. Munson Healthcare agrees with the need to reform auto no-fault, but not in a way that threatens trauma care in northern Michigan. It is critical that our northern Michigan legislators understand the unique position of Munson Medical Center as the only designated rural trauma center hospital in northern Michigan. The proposed reforms to auto no-fault threaten the continued access to necessary trauma services for victims of auto accidents in northern Michigan. Read more and take action.