Olympic Medical Center is a comprehensive health care provider serving the residents of Port Angeles, Sequim and surrounding communities. Inpatient services include a level-three trauma designated emergency department, surgical services, and labor and delivery. Outpatient services include cardiac care, cancer care, diagnostic imaging, physical therapy and rehabilitation, laboratory, orthopaedics, surgical services, sleep center, home health, primary care, a walk-in clinic and specialty physician clinics.
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Legislative Advocacy

Preserve 340B Drug Program

The 340B Drug Pricing Program has provided financial relief to safety net hospitals for high prescription drug costs and access to costly drugs to low-income seniors for more than 20 years. As a rural Sole Community Hospital, Rural Referral Center and safety net hospital, Olympic Medical Center began participating in the program in 2015.

The congressional intent of the 340B program was to reduce government spending for drugs and to help hospitals expand access to medical treatment in vulnerable communities by stretching limited resources. Unfortunately dramatic cuts, a 28.5% reduction in reimbursement specifically, were made to the program that essentially gut the program of its benefits. As a federally designated Sole Community Hospital OMC is protected for this new rule for at least the first year; however, OMC joins the AHA in continuing to fight against these cuts and further protect the 340B program.

Olympic Medical Center continues to support a House legislative fix to the 340B program called Closing Loopholes for Orphan Drugs Act(HR 2889). This legislation limits the 340B program’s "orphan drug” exclusion. An orphan drug is a pharmaceutical that is that has been developed specifically to treat a rare medical condition, and the 340B program discount does not apply to orphan drugs. However, insurance companies have expanded the orphan drug exclusion, and do not allow the discount for these drugs even if they are commonly used to treat conditions outside of the original orphan drug designation. This is particularly impactful at Olympic Medical Cancer Center, for example, where some of these pharmaceuticals are highly effective cancer therapies, yet the drug’s orphan status is not related to cancer treatment. Olympic Medical Center supports the bill to close the loophole related to orphan drugs by limiting the exclusion to allow greater access by patients to treatment and services. 

Preserve Coverage and Access

Olympic Medical Center’s continues to advocate to elected officials to ensure coverage is maintained for all individuals who received insurance coverage under the Affordable Care Act. In Washington State alone, the Medicaid expansion and health insurance exchange subsidies provided insurance and access to care for more than 700,000 low- and moderate-income working individuals! In Clallam County, more than 10,000 residents gained coverage through the Affordable Care Act, with more than 7,000 of those people receiving coverage through the Medicaid expansion.

The situation in Washington, DC is very fluid, and unpredictable. Rural health care is a non-partisan issue, and OMC works with both parties on the following priorities: 

  • Preserving coverage and access to care;
  • Maintaining adequate reimbursement for Medicare and Medicaid; and,
  • Working to achieve a reasonable regulatory environment.

Successful 2018 Washington State Legislative Session

Olympic Medical Center worked closely with legislators to establish a pilot program to train skilled health care workers in rural counties. By addressing workforce development, our state can fill desperately needed skilled positions in health care, particularly in rural areas where skilled workers are more difficult to find. OMC also supported Medicaid reimbursement improvements to aid state-designated Rural Sole Community Hospitals, and these improvements were also included in the final budget. 

Remember, You Have a Voice with Your Legislators

We encourage you to educate yourself about current issues facing rural health care and reach out to your elected officials. If you're interested in advocating, please locate "How Can You Help Advocate" on the right side of this page. 

 

How Can You Help Advocate?

Take an active role in helping to solve the health care crisis! Educate yourself about current issues facing the industry, and ask your state and federal representatives to ensure adequate funding for health care providers in Washington State.

Write to your legislators. Your letters count! Let your legislators know how you feel about health care decisions. After all, legislators rely on constituent input in order to be effective. Please visit our "Call to Action" section above (when applicable) to find template letters addressing current legislative concerns.

You can also click here to read the American Medical Association’s publication, “A Guide to Communicating with Members of Congress.”

Click here for contact information for federal representatives.

Click here for contact information for state representatives.

For more information on the work OMC is doing on Legislative Advocacy, email advocacy@olympicmedical.org.

Additional Advocacy Resources:

American Hospital Association's "Coalition to Protect America's Health Care".

American Medical Association's (AMA) "Patient Action Network".

Resources on this topic are also found at the AMA’s main website, www.ama-assn.org and at the Washington State Hospital Association’s (WSHA) website, www.wsha.org.

About Medicare

Medicare is the federal health insurance program, mostly covering people who are 65 or older.

Nearly 60% of Olympic Medical Center's patients are covered by Medicare. Currently, Medicare pays approximately 80% of the actual cost for providing health care for these patients, and further Medicare reimbursement reductions continue to be proposed.

Adequate Medicare reimbursement is critical to the future financial viability of Olympic Medical Center.

About Medicaid (Apple Health)

Medicaid is a health and long-term care coverage program that is jointly financed by Washington State and the federal government. Individuals between the ages of 19 and 65 (parents, and adults without dependent children) with incomes up to 138% of federal poverty level based on modified adjusted gross income are eligible for Medicaid (also known as Apple Health). Washington Apple Health continues to provide medical care for children in households with incomes up to 138% of federal poverty level.

Medicaid reimbursement is significantly below cost and Olympic Medical Center continues to advocate for adequate reimbursement from the program.

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