FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Statement attributable to:
Beth Feldpush, DrPH
Senior Vice President of Policy and Advocacy
America’s Essential Hospitals
WASHINGTON — Today’s decision by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to finalize outpatient drug payment cuts of nearly 30 percent for hospitals in the 340B Drug Pricing Program distorts Congress’ intent for the program and endangers our health care safety net.
Essential hospitals and the low-income patients they serve are worse off today for this unfortunate action. These hospitals depend on a patchwork of support — including 340B discounts — to meet their mission of caring for people who face systemic and structural barriers to care. Congress was clear: by helping to offset the high uncompensated costs of this mission, essential hospitals can use 340B savings to stretch their scarce resources and deliver more care to the marginalized people and communities they serve.
Today’s final rule on the 2022 Outpatient Prospective Payment System also perpetuates damaging cuts to off-campus hospital clinics. This policy jeopardizes outpatient networks essential hospitals use to reach underserved communities and reduce disparities in care. It compounds the many financial challenges our hospitals face, especially as these front-line providers continue the costly fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
We appreciate that the agency made final its proposals for the inpatient-only (IPO) list. Along with physician judgment, the IPO list provides important direction on services appropriate for the outpatient setting. We welcome the agency’s decision to halt the elimination of the IPO list and to take a more transparent and thoughtful approach that ensures patient safety is maintained and avoids added complexity for providers.
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About America’s Essential Hospitals
America’s Essential Hospitals is the leading champion for hospitals and health systems dedicated to high-quality care for all, including the most vulnerable. We support our more than 300 members with advocacy, policy development, research, and education. Communities depend on essential hospitals to provide specialized, lifesaving services; train the health care workforce; advance public health and health equity; and coordinate care. Essential hospitals innovate and adapt to lead the way to more effective and efficient care. Learn more at essentialhospitals.org.