McMorris Rodgers Fights for Rural Veterans’ Health Care

(Washington, D.C)  When a veteran receives care at a rural Eastern Washington hospital, the Department of Defense may not fully reimburse that hospital for the care provided.  In some cases, the DoD’s TRICARE program, which provides health coverage for retired veterans, reimburses Critical Access Hospitals at much lower rates than Medicare—in some cases, up to 20% less.  Low TRICARE reimbursement rates make it difficult for the 15 Critical Access Hospitals in Eastern Washington to provide care for veterans.

That is why Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers recently asked the DoD to increase TRICARE reimbursement rates.  In a letter to the DoD, McMorris Rodgers joined Congressmen Mike Simpson (R-Id.) and Rick Larsen (D-Wa.) to ensure Critical Access Hospitals who treat veterans receive TRICARE reimbursements at the same level as Medicare reimbursements.

“One of my top priorities is to ensure Eastern Washington veterans receive the benefits they’ve earned,” McMorris Rodgers said.  “We can’t balance the budget on the backs of veterans by not paying doctors for the care they’ve performed.”

This is McMorris Rodgers’ latest effort to ensure Critical Access Hospitals aren’t penalized when treating veterans.  In order to be classified as a Critical Access Hospital, and receive cost-based reimbursement from Medicare, hospitals must not have more than 25 beds occupied at any time.

In February 2009, McMorris Rodgers cosponsored the Critical Access Hospital Flexibility Act (H.R. 668), introduced by Representative Greg Walden (R-Ore.).  The legislation gives Critical Access Hospitals more flexibility in how they account for the 25-patient bed requirement and exempts beds occupied by military veterans from the inpatient bed count.

Destry Henderson

Recent Posts

Jun 14, 2024

McMorris Rodgers Statement Remembering George Nethercutt

Washington, D.C. – Eastern Washington Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (WA-05) released the following statement honoring former U.S. Representative George Nethercutt, who passed away today. “My heart is sad. George Nethercutt was a giant amongst men who served the people of Eastern Washington with honor and patriotism for a decade. George was a man of character […]

Jun 14, 2024

House Approves McMorris Rodgers Priorities, Pay Raise For Troops in Annual Defense Package

Washington, D.C. –  Eastern Washington Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (WA-05) today released the following statement after the House of Representatives passed the FY25 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which included two provisions she wrote and a number of wins for servicemembers in Eastern Washington: “This year’s National Defense Authorization Act is a critical investment that […]

Jun 4, 2024

McMorris Rodgers Announces 2024 Congressional Art Competition Winner: Hawwi Jebena from Spokane

Washington, D.C. – Today, Eastern Washington Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (WA-05) announced Hawwi Jebena as the winner of the 2024 Congressional Art Competition from Washington’s Fifth Congressional District.  WINNER: “Manito Park” by Hawwi Jebena Hawwi Jebena’s acrylic painting, “Manito Park,” is the winner of the 2024 Congressional Art Competition for Eastern Washington. Hawwi attends Gonzaga […]