Letter to the Editor:
On behalf of the board of directors at Grinnell Regional Medical Center, I would like to extend our appreciation to Todd Linden, who has served as the medical center’s president and CEO for 16 years. For many of those years, Todd has worked to improve Medicare payments for GRMC.
GRMC is among 450 hospitals in the nation known as “tweener” hospitals. Tweener hospitals are too large to be critical access hospitals, but too small to be financially viable under the Medicare hospital prospective payment system. In dollars and cents, most of the nation’s hospitals are paid 91 cents on average for every dollar they spend on Medicare patients. Tweener hospitals like GRMC are paid as little as 65 cents for the same services provided to the same patients.
Todd’s years of persistent advocacy paid off this year when Congress passed and President Obama signed healthcare reform legislation, which includes language to improve Medicare payments to “tweener” hospitals like GRMC. It is estimated this legislation will bring $1.5 million more in Medicare payments to the medical center in the next two years. Todd was a leader in initiating and gaining passage of this legislation. In fact, we think it is safe to say that it would not exist at all if it were not for Todd and his efforts. His hard work over the past several years made the difference in informing and engaging our Congressional leaders about the need for this change.
We commend Todd for:
• Being the voice of the nearly 450 other “tweener” hospitals in our country.
•Helping GRMC traverse the changing landscape of healthcare and finding payment relief.
• Improving public health through policy advocacy.
• Raising the questions that no one else was asking.
• Initiating communications with national leaders.
• Striving for fairness and balance in government spending.
• Leading a great organization with talented and caring staff that is recognized nationally for providing the best patient care.
Thank you, Todd, for your patience and persistence. Most importantly, thank you for the passion you always display. Your leadership will serve our community well as healthcare continues to change.
Susan Witt, Chair
Board of Directors