Press Releases

Ensuring Access to Care

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Washington, DC, March 23, 2015 | comments

This week, The House of Representatives will take up a permanent solution to Medicare funding that ensures that senior’s healthcare is secured.

Congressman Tom Reed a leader on the effort released the following statement:

“When it comes to something as important as seniors access to care, it is time for Washington to stop playing games and find real solutions to fix our Medicare system. That is why I am leading the effort to fix our Medicare funding system that has devolved into an alphabet soup of temporary patches that fail to solve the long-term problem. With a permanent solution, we can ensure that the 117,143 seniors age 65 and older in the Southern Tier and Finger Lakes can take comfort in knowing that their care is there for them.

“A major component of this solution is my Rural Hospital Access Act. Rural hospitals are a critical link in ensuring access to healthcare in the Southern Tier and Finger Lakes. This bill ensures that funding is secured on a permanent basis for Medicare Dependent and Low-Volume hospitals. This bill goes a long way towards ensuring stability of funding for hospitals and ensuring access to care for rural patients and seniors.

“Too often Washington, DC is focused on partisan bickering and political finger pointing to find common-ground on real solutions. However, this time it is different. Working with my colleagues across the aisle, we have been able to find a patient and senior focused path to ensuring access to care. It is only fair that we here in Washington keep our promises to our seniors. Know I am fighting for you and holding DC accountable.”

Statement from Stephen M. Hughes President & CEO United Way of the Southern Tier:

“United Way of the Southern Tier applauds the bipartisan reform efforts designed to ensure our senior citizen population have access to their physician AND that Medicare reimbursement for service reflects the true cost of care. Medicare coverage, like any insurance is the inherent promise of access when the need arises. That covenant for seniors and appropriate reimbursement for providers just makes sense.”

Statement from Dr. Mary Ann Spanos, Director of the Chautauqua County Office for the Aging:

“Our primary care physicians already have a difficult time serving our senior citizens with the current Medicare reimbursement rates.  The Southern Tier and Finger Lakes area is underserved with a lack of primary care physicians, so the SGR repeal will help our seniors continue to see local physicians whom they know and trust.  This is key in helping seniors regularly visit their primary care physicians to monitor and manage their chronic conditions and prevent emergency room visits.  Congressman Reed’s support of the SGR repeal assures Medicare spending remains cost effective by encouraging senior citizens to manage their health at the primary care physician level rather than ER visits and hospital admissions.”

*According to the US Census Bureau, NY-23 has 117,143 residents age 65 and older.

*According to http://www.op.nysed.gov/prof/med/medcounts.htm there are 1,488 physicians in NY-23 broken down as follows:

Allegany  36

Cattaraugus  111

Chautauqua  180

Chemung  266

Ontario (part)  283

Seneca  20

Schuyler  24

Steuben  205

Tioga  (part) 49

Tompkins  288

Yates  26

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