FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Statement attributable to:
Beth Feldpush, DrPH
Senior Vice President of Policy and Advocacy
America’s Essential Hospitals
WASHINGTON—Today’s Outpatient Prospective Payment System final rule takes critical resources away from hospitals as they strain under the heavy financial burden of COVID-19, and it threatens access to health care in underserved communities across the country now and after the public health crisis ends.
This rule would be bad policy at any time and is especially harmful now, as the public health emergency intensifies and front-line hospitals face unprecedented capacity and cost pressures. There is no policy justification for the agency’s damaging Part B drug payment cuts to hospitals in the 340B Drug Pricing Program. These cuts flout congressional intent for the 340B program and undermine the savings it was designed to create for hospitals that care for underserved people and communities.
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services must reverse course on this damaging policy and restore support essential hospitals need to meet their safety-net mission.
We are encouraged to see the administration took steps toward improving its hospital star ratings system and responding to stakeholder concerns about the ratings. We also appreciate that the administration temporarily extended support for telehealth services in the Physician Fee Schedule. However, permanent flexibility is needed to improve access to care for underrepresented populations.
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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.