On Feb. 10, America’s Essential Hospitals sent a letter to President Joe Biden and his administration detailing key priorities for the organization and its members.
The association thanked the Biden administration for swift efforts to address COVID-19, confront structural racism as an urgent public health threat, and reverse harmful immigration policies that have created a chilling effect in communities and threatened the health care workforce. As the new administration defines key health policy priorities, America’s Essential Hospitals asked for these issues to be considered to stabilize the nation’s health care safety net and communities served by essential hospitals:
- Structural Racism: Confront structural racism in health care and promote policies that support those who historically have been marginalized, specifically by working across stakeholder groups to promote trust;
- COVID-19: Prioritize funding for necessary services and infrastructure needed during the public health emergency and continue to be transparent and predictable when distributing vaccines;
- Medicaid: The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) should support the Medicaid program and its beneficiaries, through ensuring adequate base rates for Medicaid services and advancing policies that promote a robust program and ensures access;
- 340B: preserve the 340B Drug Pricing Program and reverse harmful Trump administration policies by enforcing the 340B statute about manufacturers and contract pharmacies, reversing 2018 Medicare Part B cuts, and withdrawing the flawed Most Favored Nation model interim final rule;
- Site-Neutral Payments: Acknowledge the harm that site-neutral payment policies have caused to underserved communities;
- Immigration: Reverse harmful immigration policies that undermine public health and the health care workforce by halting enforcement of the revised public charge definition and rolling back policies that undermine recruitment and training of health care workers;
- Social Determinants of Health: Prioritize understanding social determinants and adopting policies that ensure fairness and equity across programs like Medicaid and Medicare;
- Risk Adjustment: Work with stakeholders to identify risk factors, outside of a provider’s control, that cause inequities in public policies;
- Telehealth: Permanently adopt telehealth flexibility by broadening the scope of telehealth reimbursement and lifting barriers to Medicare reimbursement for these services; and
- Nondiscrimination: HHS should reverse the Trump administration’s changes to the Affordable Care Act’s nondiscrimination policies.
Contact Senior Director of Policy Erin O’Malley at firstname.lastname@example.org or 202.585.0127 with questions.