FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Statement attributable to:
Beth Feldpush, DrPH
Senior Vice President of Policy and Advocacy
America’s Essential Hospitals
WASHINGTON — We appreciate the administration’s ongoing interest in advancing health equity, as seen in today’s fiscal year 2024 Inpatient Prospective Payment System (IPPS) proposed rule, and its desire to define safety net hospitals.
Establishing a safety net hospital definition is a long-overdue initiative critical to stabilizing and supporting essential hospitals and their vital role in our health care system. We look forward to working with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to ensure it adopts an accurate and comprehensive definition and steers clear of definitions that fail to account for the diversity of the low-income Medicare, Medicaid, and uninsured patients who rely on the nation’s safety net.
We are concerned other provisions in the proposed rule would undermine the safety net, including those to decrease Medicare disproportionate share hospital payments by more than $200 million and to update the IPPS base payment rate by a lackluster 2.8 percent. Ongoing pressures, such as inflation and high labor and supply costs, demand a stronger investment by Medicare, a critical source of support for essential hospitals and the communities they serve.
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About America’s Essential Hospitals
America’s Essential Hospitals is the leading association and champion for hospitals dedicated to equitable, high-quality care for all, including those who face social and financial barriers to care. Since 1981, America’s Essential Hospitals has advanced policies and programs that promote health, health care access, and equity. We support our more than 300 members with advocacy, policy development, research, education, and leadership development. Communities depend on essential hospitals for care across the continuum, health care workforce training, research, public health and health equity, and other services. Essential hospitals innovate and adapt to lead all of health care toward better outcomes and value. Learn more at https://essentialhospitals.org.