April 04, 2014

Sens. Warren, Markey, & Rep. Neal Ask CMS to Expedite Approval Process to Restore Emergency Medical & Hospice Services to North Adams

Full text of letter here

WASHINGTON, DC- In a letter sent to Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Administrator Marilyn Tavenner today, United States Senators Elizabeth Warren and Edward J. Markey and Congressman Richard Neal expressed their concerns about the closure of North Adams Regional Hospital (NARH), and asked CMS to expedite the application of Berkshire Health System (BHS) to restore emergency medical and hospice services to the North Adams community.

"Given the importance of this facility to the northern Berkshire community, we ask that you do all that you can to expedite the application process for BHS," wrote Senators Warren and Markey and Congressman Neal.  "BHS is a successful Medicare provider, and the NARH facility was operational as a Medicare provider just last week. We respectfully request that you work with the [Medicare Administrative Contractors], the Region I CMS office, [State of Massachusetts Executive Office of Health and Human Services] officials, and BHS to restore access to medical services for the North Adams community as soon as possible."

NARH has served the northern Berkshire community since 1885. Last week, after years of financial struggles, NARH closed its doors, leaving the area without its main care provider and only emergency department.  Berkshire Health System (BHS), which operates the Berkshire Medical Center, has submitted applications to CMS to allow it to restore emergency and hospice services at the NARH facility. Earlier this week, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health approved BHS's licensure applications to operate emergency and hospice services at the former NARH facility.

To read the full text of the letter sent by Senator Warren, Senator Markey, and Congressman Neal, please click here.