With the strong support of America’s Essential Hospitals, 60 senators formally called on the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to delay the public release of overall hospital star ratings, arguing that the ratings fail to adjust for patients’ socioeconomic challenges and could mislead consumers.
The senators made the request to delay the April 21 release of Hospital Compare star ratings in an April 11 letter to CMS. A similar letter is circulating in the House, led by Reps. Jim Renacci (R-OH) and Bill Pascrell (D-NJ). Last month, America’s Essential Hospitals sent a letter to CMS that urged the agency to re-examine its final star ratings methodology. On Tuesday, the association also distributed an issues overview and response document to help members prepare for the ratings’ release.
In other news, the House continues its efforts to pass a budget resolution, and both the House and Senate continue work on spending bills. The House also is slated to advance a Senate-passed measure allowing an expedited U.S. Food and Drug Administration review process for Zika treatments.
In committee business, the House Committee on Ways and Means holds a hearing today to examine tax treatment of health care. Also today, the House Committee on Energy and Commerce reviews impacts and lessons learned from the Flint, Mich., water crisis.