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Our View: Further Outpatient Payment Changes Needed To Ensure Access to Care

America’s Essential Hospitals is pleased Congress has decided to treat hospital outpatient departments (HOPDs) under construction as of Nov. 2, 2015 the date of enactment of the Section 603 of the Bipartisan Budget Act (BBA) of 2015 as exempt from payment cuts under the law.

Still, the BBA’s so-called “site neutral” policy creates serious, unintended consequences for vulnerable people, and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) rules for the cuts provide almost no flexibility for hospitals to relocate or change ownership of existing HOPDs.

We propose an exception to the cuts for new outpatient departments that demonstrably provide access to the most underserved communities. Further, Congress should direct CMS to recognize a broader set of conditions under which a current HOPD might need to change its physical location.

Our View: Further Outpatient Payment Changes Needed To Ensure Access to Care

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