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On the Hill: SES Risk Adjustment, HOPDs in Cures Bill

The House of Representatives is expected to vote Nov. 30 on 21st Century Cures legislation. Thanks to vigorous advocacy by America’s Essential Hospitals and its members, the bill includes a key goal on the association’s legislative agenda: socioeconomic risk adjustment of the Medicare Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program (HRRP).

In another win for hospitals, the bill includes an exemption for scheduled cuts to new hospital outpatient departments (HOPDs) if a facility was considered “mid-build” on the date of enactment of the law that established the cuts (Nov. 2, 2015). A section-by-section analysis of the complete bill can be found online.

The Senate is expected to consider the Cures bill after House passage, but a date has not yet been set. Lawmakers are expected to be in Washington for only a short time to complete work on Cures and to pass a continuing resolution to keep the government funded beyond its current funding expiration date of Dec. 9.

In committee business, the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, Subcommittee on Health holds a legislative hearing Wednesday on the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. In other news, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) on Nov. 30 released that chamber’s 2017 legislative calendar, which shows House lawmakers in session for more than 140 days next year.

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About the Author

Jocelyn Wiles is the manager of legislative affairs at America's Essential Hospitals.

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