Statement attributable to:
Bruce Siegel, MD, MPH
President and CEO
America’s Essential Hospitals
WASHINGTON—Today’s Medicare Outpatient Prospective Payment System proposed rule takes a bad policy on Part B drug payments and makes it worse by digging an even deeper financial hole for essential hospitals and their vulnerable patients.
There is no reasonable basis to further reduce payments to hospitals in the 340B Drug Pricing Program—the same hospitals that are now straining under the heavy costs of responding to COVID-19. This ill-conceived payment policy flouts congressional intent for the 340B program, undermines program savings for hospitals that operate with little or no margin, and ultimately jeopardizes access to care in underserved communities.
We continue to call on the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to rescind this deeply damaging policy and work with us to ensure essential hospitals have the support they need to meet their safety-net mission.
Conversely, we are encouraged to see the administration extend support for telehealth services in the Physician Fee Schedule. We appreciate this nod to telehealth’s value, but additional flexibilities are needed to further improve access for vulnerable communities. We also are pleased the agency is working to fix flaws in the hospital star ratings program, and we look forward to additional improvements.
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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.