Yakima County legislators secure $2.4 million for Toppenish Hospital

The state's supplemental operating budget includes $2.4 million that would preserve hospital services in the Yakima Valley in the aftermath of the closure of Astria Medical Center in Yakima.

Rep. Jeremie Dufault sponsored legislation in the House (House Bill 2729) and Sen. Curtis King sponsored legislation in the Senate (Senate Bill 6354) to increase the Medicaid reimbursement rate for Toppenish Hospital up to the rate nearby hospitals already receive. The Legislature did not take final action on either bill during the short session. Yakima County legislators continued to push the issue, however, and secured the $2.4 million in the final budget.

“The Yakima Valley can't afford to lose two hospitals in one year,” said Dufault, a Republican from Selah. “This will protect our remaining hospital capacity as we work toward a long-term solution.”

The closure of the Yakima medical center significantly impacted nearby hospitals, including Toppenish Hospital, which have had to accommodate an influx of patients. Local lawmakers were concerned that patients would lose access to services at Toppenish Hospital because of the lower reimbursement rate.

“This hospital serves some of our Valley's most remote communities,” said King, a Republican from Yakima. “It was important that we made sure the hospital could continue treating patients close to home.”

The final version of the supplemental operating budget was introduced Wednesday.

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Washington State House Republican Communications
houserepublicans.wa.gov