FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Statement attributable to:
Bruce Siegel, MD, MPH
President and CEO
America’s Essential Hospitals
America’s Essential Hospitals thanks the Senate for its vote today to protect vulnerable patients and underserved communities by helping their hospitals keep urgently needed resources to improve care and expand access.
With their vote, senators have helped level the playing field for essential hospitals, the backbone of the nation’s safety net. By risk adjusting readmissions measures that unfairly penalize hospitals for factors outside their control, the Cures Act will help preserve vital services in at-risk communities.
Likewise, the Senate’s approval of partial relief from damaging cuts to hospital outpatient department payments will ease the threat to health care access for many people. We urge lawmakers to consider additional steps to stop these cuts from eroding access in the nation’s health care deserts, where vulnerable people already face a severe shortage of services.
Vulnerable patients struggle with daily hardships—homelessness, hunger, financial instability, lack of family support, and others—that can hinder recovery after a hospital encounter. Essential hospitals lead efforts to help them overcome these challenges and avoid readmissions, and the Cures Act will support their success.
We look forward to the president signing this milestone legislation. We also thank our House and Senate champions for their commitment to equity and their tireless work since 2014 to bring risk adjustment to the Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program: Reps. Jim Renacci (R-OH) and Eliot Engel (D-NY) and Sens. Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Rob Portman (R-OH).
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About America’s Essential Hospitals
America’s Essential Hospitals is the leading association and champion for hospitals and health systems dedicated to high-quality care for all, including the most vulnerable. Since 1981, America’s Essential Hospitals has initiated, advanced, and preserved programs and policies that help these hospitals ensure access to care. We support members with advocacy, policy development, research, and education.
Our nearly 275 members are vital to their communities, providing primary care through trauma care, disaster response, health professional training, research, public health programs, and other services. They innovate and adapt to lead the broader health care community toward more effective and efficient care.