The nation's four largest hospital associations and their allies at medical schools urged Congress in a letter this week to oppose a cap on payments for outpatient services in hospitals.
The cap proposal was floated earlier this year by the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission, which estimates that it could save the federal government about $1 billion.
Under the proposal, for non-emergency examinations in a hospital outpatient setting the physician would get the standard amount for the service in a hospital setting. The hospital would get the difference between the physician office payment minus the physician payment in the hospital.
The hospital associations say the proposal would reduce payments by at least 71% for 10 of the most common outpatient hospital services.
"Simply put, it is significantly damaging to beneficiaries and the providers on which they rely to enact legislation that will result in such large cuts. We urge you to oppose inclusion of these cuts in any legislation, and appreciate your continued support of our hospital and its patients," the letter stated.