WASHINGTON, DC (WIVT/WBGH) – Last week, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer announced a proposed change to Medicare wage payments that could help out hospitals across Upstate New York.

The change could bring in nearly $1 billion more annually for these hospitals including more than $43 million for UHS hospitals, almost $4 million for UHS Chenango Memorial Hospital, and $24 million + for Lourdes Hospital.

The main goal is to help hospitals cover wages and possibly increase pay for their employees.

“For far too long, Upstate New York hospitals have faced unfairly low Medicare payments that fell terribly short of wage demands leaving hospitals struggling to compete to bring the best doctors and nurses to Upstate New York. After years of fighting though, the feds have finally shifted course, and proposed a new rule that can help finally rectify the unfair payment system, and give Upstate NY the shot in the arm it has long needed to the tune of nearly a billion dollars every single year,” said Senator Schumer. “This means that hospitals from Buffalo to Albany and Watertown to Binghamton, big and small, in rural and urban areas, can get the support they have long deserved. I will use all my clout as majority leader to push CMS to finalize this proposed wage increase, and I won’t stop until Upstate NY hospitals get the full reimbursements they have been denied for too long.”

Schumer says that this funding from the federal government should help with both hospital financial woes and the worsening doctor and nurse shortages across the state.

He says that he is now launching an “all-out push” to ensure that this proposal is finalized by CMS (Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services).