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Times Argus: Welch provisions in Medicare bill

March 27, 2015
In The News

Times Argus

New federal legislation designed to resolve a long-standing dispute over the reimbursement of physicians participating in the Medicare program includes two provisions written by Rep. Peter Welch, D-Vermont.

One of the Welch provisions — a two-year extension of a program that boosts reimbursements to rural hospitals as well as hospitals serving disproportionately large numbers of senior citizens — will be a boon to three Vermont hospitals. Central Vermont Medical Center in Berlin is on that list, which also includes Brattleboro Memorial Hospital and Northwestern Medical Center in St. Albans.

Welch also successfully proposed a two-year extension of the federal program that increases payments to ambulance service providers in rural areas.

Both provisions were in a bill that reauthorizes the federal Children’s Health Insurance Program for two years and provides $8 billion for community health centers, the National Health Service Corps and Teaching Health Centers.

The bipartisan bill passed the House by a vote of 392-37 on Thursday.