Hospitals to Congress: Drop Payment Cap Proposal

John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media , September 14, 2012

The letter was co-signed by the American Hospital Association, the Association of American Medical Colleges, the Catholic Health Association of the United States, Federation of American Hospitals, and the National Association of Public Hospitals and Health Systems, and sent to every member of Congress.

Congress is already contending with $1.2 trillion in mandated cuts that take effect on Jan. 1under the Budget Control Act of 2011, which includes a 2% sequester of Medicare funding. In addition, a separate 27% cut in physician Medicare reimbursements is schedule to go into effect on Jan. 1 under the sustainable growth rate funding formula.

The MedPAC cap proposal does not appear to be on any committee agendas at least until after the November general election and the hospital associations made clear in their letter to lawmakers that they want to keep it that way.

"Knowing there is going to be tremendous pressures on policy makers to achieve more savings as we go into the next round of discussions, whether it is the physician fee fix or the bigger issues around the 'fiscal cliff,' we would just anticipate that this idea may come up again as one that is debated by policy makers," Beth Feldpush, vice president of policy and advocacy at NAPH, told HealthLeaders Media.

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1 comments on "Hospitals to Congress: Drop Payment Cap Proposal"

Lawrence Lewis, CEO, PMHD (9/19/2012 at 11:23 AM)
The proposed payment cap that would reduce hospital payments to the difference between hospital based ER visits and physician office patient visits, does not consider the burden that is placed on hospitals to see EVERY patient that arrives on campus seeking maedical care. It does not take into consideration the cost of maintaining a service 24X7 that is prepared to see patients of any condition and unknown medical history from a pulled chest muscle resulting from a cough or sneeze, to a blockage that could ultimately end up with open heart sugery. They do not consider the patients that walk in with a headache due to lack of sleep to a pain symptomatic of a brain aneurism. Proposed signficant changes to compensation structures should be researched thoroughly and based on the cost of providing the services that are being required of a hospital emergency rooms. This is why it's important for legislators to develop working relationships with the hospital associations that engage industry leaders in collaborating to develop sound proposals.




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