UPSTATE NEW YORK (WSYR-TV) — Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer revealed Wednesday, August 2, that Upstate New York hospitals will now receive a billion dollars annually under a new finalized rule to Medicare Wage Payments.

This also includes an additional $121,000,000 to Central New York Hospitals each year in Medicare payments.

The new ruling comes after years of advocacy to correct systemic underpayments to hospitals, which Senator Schumer has finally accomplished.

Historically, hospitals in Upstate NY had received less than the true cost of providing healthcare for the areas they served. 

“This is one of the biggest shots in the arm for federal funding Upstate NY hospitals have seen in decades. This will be a monumental boost to healthcare for our families and to help our healthcare providers fix budget shortfalls, address doctor and nurse shortages and so much more. For years, our hardworking healthcare providers have faced unfairly low Medicare payments, receiving cents on the dollar for the care they provide, but now after over a decade of fighting I am proud to announce I have secured the rules change which will bring nearly $1 billion every single year to hospitals across Upstate NY,” said Senator Schumer. “Years from now, we will look back at today as a pivotal moment for our Upstate New York hospitals. From Albany to Buffalo, and Binghamton to Watertown, hospitals big and small, in rural and urban areas, will finally get the support and full reimbursements they have long deserved and have been denied for too long.”

Schumer broke down the estimated increase in Medicare Wage Index payments region-by-region in a livestream Wednesday, where he included estimated figures for each impacted hospital and how much more they will receive in well-deserved funding every single year.

In Central New York, the following hospitals will receive the following estimated funding:

Oswego Health$1,998,207
Auburn Community Hospital$2,924,509
Upstate University Hospital$45,604,942
St. Joseph’s Health (Syracuse)$37,908,264
Oneida Health Hospital$5,321,958
Crouse Hospital$22,742,028
Guthrie Cortland Medical Center$4,908,384

Schumer explained that the Medicare Wage Index rate is used to determine how much money the U.S. government pays hospitals for labor costs when they treat Medicare patients. The rates about for Central New York are assigned a rate that dictates whether they receive more or less than the national average for health care labor costs.

“CMS’ adjustment to the calculation of the wage index rural floor will have a tremendous positive impact on many of upstate New York hospitals and health systems,” said HANYS President Bea Grause, RN, JD. “We are tremendously grateful to Sen. Schumer and Rep. Tonko for their steadfast dedication to New York’s hospitals and for ensuring CMS finalized this important provision. The resulting increased Medicare reimbursement to our providers will immediately help to sustain and bolster vulnerable New Yorker’s access to healthcare services.”