Congressman Bob Gibbs Announces Reclassification of Genesis Healthcare System

March 1, 2011
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Bob Gibbs today released the following statement on the reclassification of Genesis Healthcare System as a Medicare Sole Community Hospital (SCH):

“I am pleased to announce that Genesis Hospital has been granted Medicare sole community hospital status by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services,” said Gibbs.  “Having visited with the administration, staff, and patients at the facility, I know how critically important this reclassification is to Genesis and its ability continue to provide exceptional care and services to citizens in this region.”

“Rural communities, including those in southeastern Ohio, face unique issues and challenges when it comes to health care delivery and accessibility.  Often, rural areas face higher costs for medical services given the great distances between patients and care facilities or a lack of physicians and facilities available in that area.  Genesis’ new status will ensure that Ohioans–especially the elderly and disabled–have access to quality, affordable health care through reasonable and equitable reimbursement rates for rural health providers,” said Gibbs.

As a regional not-for-profit hospital that has provided compassionate, high quality health care to citizens in Appalachian Ohio for over a century, Genesis is Muskingum County’s largest employer and a key economic driver within the region.  It provides 3,000 jobs in an area that has been plagued with high employment rates.  Additionally, well over 65 percent of the patients served are on Medicare or Medicaid.

Without this designation, Genesis would lose more than $6 million in annual Medicare reimbursement under a complicated formula that measures wage rates for a metropolitan area.   Previously, Genesis had been classified in the Columbus area, but slipped out of that calculation at the end of 2010 based on data from the 2004-2006 timeframe.  The annual loss in Medicare reimbursement represented a very significant challenge to the hospital’s ability to continue to provide the same level of quality care to the community.

“Genesis was facing the loss of over 10 percent of their total Medicare budget, which would have resulted in the layoff of over 200 jobs, including doctors and nurses,” said Gibbs.  “However, it is the only accessible nearby hospital for many of my constituents and the only one with significant advanced expertise and capacities in a large geographic area.  This reclassification saves these important jobs and allows Genesis to continue to provide services to my constituents.”

Matt Perry, CEO of Genesis, said, ""Representative Gibbs has been very engaged in this issue since the day he went to Congress, and we are grateful for his advocacy on behalf of his local community."