AHA comments on MedPAC draft recommendations

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Substantial positive updates for both the hospital inpatient and outpatient prospective payment system are necessary in fiscal year 2016, AHA told the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission in comments submitted yesterday, noting that the average hospital will have an overall Medicare margin of -9.0% in FY 2015. MedPAC last month considered a draft recommendation that would increase payment rates for the acute-care hospital inpatient and outpatient prospective payment systems by 3.2%. “We appreciate MedPAC’s recognition that Medicare payments will remain below the cost of providing care,” wrote Linda Fishman, AHA senior vice president of public policy analysis and development. Among other comments, AHA urged the commission to withdraw its draft site-neutral payment recommendations for hospital outpatient departments and for long-term care hospitals, citing recent sweeping reforms to the outpatient PPS and LTCH PPS. MedPAC is expected to vote on 2016 payment recommendations later this week. The letter also outlines guiding principles for evaluating proposed short-stay payment policies, and recommends comprehensive reform of the Recovery Audit Contractor program and repeal of the 0.2% reduction to the inpatient standardized amount.

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