FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Statement attributable to:
Bruce Siegel, MD, MPH
President and CEO
America’s Essential Hospitals
WASHINGTON — Today’s disappointing U.S. Court of Appeals decision to allow damaging payment cuts to hospital outpatient clinics is a gut punch to the nation’s essential hospitals, already struggling under persistent funding shortages made worse by the COVID-19 crisis.
Allowing the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to maintain its policy of deep cuts to payments for outpatient care will widen gaps in health care access in communities across the country. Millions of people in the United States live in health care deserts and lack reliable access to health care services. With its ruling, the court leaves in place financial barriers to expanding outpatient care in our most underserved communities.
This court’s decision could not have come at a worse time. The communities most likely to suffer from diminished access due to this ruling also are those at greatest risk during the COVID-19 pandemic—communities where health disparities leave racial and ethnic minorities vulnerable.
We call on Congress and the administration to reverse course on this terrible site-neutral payment policy and restore access to care for all people.
# # #
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.