Washington Senate approves bill to raise struggling hospital's reimbursement rate

The Washington Senate approved a bill to raise Astria Toppenish (Wash.) Hospital's Medicaid inpatient service reimbursement rates to 120 percent of the Medicaid fee schedule and outpatient reimbursement rates to 200 percent. 

In December, the hospital announced plans to close its maternity ward due to heavy financial losses. If the Washington House approves the reimbursement rate changes, they would go into effect in January 2024 and end in December 2028, according to the bill.

"This bill is critical to this small rural hospital in the lower Yakima Valley," the sponsor of the bill, Sen. Curtis King, said in a March 7 news release. "It is a hospital so valued and needed by the Yakama Tribe, by our Hispanic community and by all of the citizens who live in the lower Yakima Valley. Without this extra funding, the hospital is at risk of closing. I'm so very glad the Senate passed this important bill."

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