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Bills Seek Sociodemographic Adjustment in Medicare Readmissions

Last week, a bipartisan group of House and Senate lawmakers introduced bills in each chamber requiring risk adjustment for sociodemographic status in the Medicare Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program (HRRP).

The legislation, the Establishing Beneficiary Equity in the Hospital Readmission Program Act (S. 688 and HR 1343), would ensure the HRRP does not unfairly penalize hospitals for vulnerable patients’ social, economic, and other circumstances beyond a hospital’s control. It was introduced in the Senate by Sens. Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Rob Portman (R-OH), and in the House by Reps. Jim Renacci (R-OH) and Eliot Engel (D-NY),

America’s Essential Hospitals supports the legislation. “America’s Essential Hospitals thanks Sens. Manchin and Portman for their leadership and commitment to the best health care possible for all people,” association President and CEO Bruce Siegel, MD, MPH, said in a news release from Portman and Manchin, “This legislation will ensure fairness in the readmissions reduction program and allow high-performing essential hospitals to maintain the resources they need to reduce readmissions and care disparities.”

Contact Shawn Gremminger, director of legislative affairs, at sgremminger@essentialhospitals.org or 202.585.0112 with questions.

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About the Author

Walsh is the senior manager of legislative affairs for America's Essential Hospitals.