WMass hospitals could lose millions in Medicare reimbursements

Money used for jobs, programs and services is at stake

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Massachusetts hospitals could lose $160 million in Medicare reimbursements from the federal government over the next year.

  • Baystate Health has a budget operating margin of about $56 million for it’s hospitals this year, but this error could lose them up $35 million, $28 million at Baystate Medical Center.
  • For Mercy Medical Center it’s approximately a $10 million impact on their medical system.
  • For Holyoke Medical Center it would mean about $3-$3.5 million of less reimbursement from Medicare this year.
  • Cooley Dickinson Hospital calculates it would have a $3.7 million impact.

Hospitals blame an accounting error by Partners Healthcare, reporting lower wages at Nantucket Cottage Hospital to Medicare. “It was an error that was made in that reporting, and that error has ramifications for all of the hospitals across Massachusetts,” Dan Keenan, Mercy Medical Center’s Vice President of Community Relations said.


Accounting error could cost Baystate Medical Center millions


Nantucket helps set a floor for wage reimbursements throughout the state, because the wages there are so high it usually helps other hospitals get more money.

President of Holyoke Medical Center, Spiros Hatiras said, “It makes up for a lot of other deficiencis in the reimbursement system, so pulling that kind of money out is certainly not an easy lift for any of the hospitals.”

The Hope is Partners Healthcare, the Massachusetts Hospital Association and leaders in Congress can convince the Federal Government to use the corrected wage data.

A decision on the matter is expected to be at the start of August, when Medicare hospital reimbursement rates are released.

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