On Wednesday, representatives of the District of Columbia Hospital Association testified in support of the Mayor’s proposed $3 billion budget for the Department of Health Care Finance. Barry Wolfman, Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of The George Washington University Hospital and Chair-Elect of the DCHA Board of Directors, Dr. Michael Yochelson, Vice President for Medical Affairs and Chief Medical Officer of MedStar National Rehabilitation Hospital, Duane Erwin, Interim President and Chief Executive Officer of Providence Health System, and Roderic L. Woodson, Providence Health System Trustee and DCHA At-Large Board Member, testified on behalf of the Association.
In addition to supporting the Department’s proposed budget, the DCHA panel testified about the importance of the District government maintaining adequate reimbursement rates and investing additional resources to eliminate the need for the hospitals to pay provider fees currently needed to support the Medicaid program. In FY17, District hospitals will pay $17 million in provider taxes to maintain inpatient reimbursement rates and provide additional outpatient supplemental payments to hospitals to ensure access to needed services.
Mr. Wolfman also cautioned against the Department’s current plan to allow up to 5 days for a patient to be evaluated for long-term care services. “We strongly advise against such a lengthy wait since it could prevent patients from accessing the right level of care at the right time, could jeopardize a patient’s nursing home placement, and could increase the average length of stay in District hospitals,” said Wolfman.