Instead, AHA gave MedPAC a list of 40 recommendations that the hospital lobby said could generate savings, including medical malpractice reform, and budget reduction proposals from both the Obama Administration and from House Republicans.
AHA said it would even support raising the Medicare eligibility age and eliminating first-dollar coverage on MediGap plans if that would help the nation's hospitals avoid additional reimbursement cuts over the next decade.
In a letter this week to MedPAC Chairman Glenn M. Hackbarth, AHA President/CEO Richard Umbdenstock said he supports eliminating the SGR, but not at the expense of hospitals.
"Offsetting the cost of the repeal with Medicare cuts to hospitals and other providers is merely 'robbing Peter to pay Paul' and is the wrong approach," Umbdenstock said in the letter. "Making cuts to providers, such as hospitals, that, according to MedPAC itself, are already seeing negative Medicare margins, could endanger beneficiary access to those providers."
Instead of passing the costs onto other providers, Umbdenstock said MedPAC could pass the costs onto seniors by considering "offset suggestions, such as eliminating first-dollar coverage for MediGap plans or raising the Medicare eligibility age."
Umbdenstock says MedPAC and the federal government should consider tort reform, which he said adds between $50 billion and $100 billion each year to the nation's healthcare bill.