Puerto Rico Herald Credits WPG Principal for Work on Medicare Reimbursement Rates
Washington Premier Group (WPG) Principal Tonya Saunders advocated on behalf of the American Hospital Association to equalize Medicare reimbursement rates for hospitals in Puerto Rico. Below is a citation from the Puerto Rico Herald, in which they credit Ms. Saunders (among others) for the agreement that ultimately improved Puerto Rico's rates formula.
"A ‘conference’ committee of leaders of the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate on legislation to reform the national health care program for the elderly and the disabled this week agreed to an increase in program payments for hospitalizations in Puerto Rico.
The agreement would change Medicare payment rates from being 50 percent based on the rates that apply everywhere else in the nation and 50 percent on local cost factors to 75 percent national rates & 25 percent local costs. The change would be implemented over two years in equal installments. The change would increase payments in Puerto Rico at least $25 million a year when fully implemented.
Conference sources credit the following for the agreement to improve the Puerto Rico rates formula: San Juan lobbyist Ortiz; Puerto Rico Hospital Association lobbyist Luis Baco, who formerly worked on the issue for Romero and Rossello, Bayamon, PR hospital owner Richard Machado; Kerry; Fortuno; Thomas; Weller; Clinton and other 2000 federal and territorial proponents of the change; Puerto Rican lobbyist Jose Fuentes-Agostini; and Hospital Association lobbyist Tonya Saunders."
Written by: Dylan Garcia, Intern