Press Release

Statement on CMS Outpatient PPS Final Rule

STATEMENT ON CMS OUTPATIENT PPS FINAL RULE

Rick Pollack
Executive Vice President

The AHA is pleased that CMS will develop quality measures specifically for the outpatient setting and has correctly given hospitals ample time to implement a reporting system for hospital outpatient services.  We had concerns with CMS’ earlier proposal because connecting outpatient payments to inpatient measures is an “apples to oranges” comparison that would undermine hospitals’ efforts to make useful and reliable quality data available to the public.  The AHA looks forward to working with CMS through the Hospital Quality Alliance and AQA to implement a meaningful quality measurement system for the outpatient setting.

The AHA applauds CMS for adding to its requirements for a full inpatient payment in fiscal year 2008 measures that have been adopted by the HQA.  These well-designed measures represent aspects of care that are important to patients and provide insights into the safety, efficiency, effectiveness and patient-centeredness of care.  We urge CMS to continue to align its choices of measures to link to payment with the measures chosen by the HQA.

We also commend CMS for finalizing in this rule the measures that hospitals will be required to report to receive their full inpatient payment in fiscal year 2008.  This early notice allows hospitals sufficient time to establish the proper data collection processes.

The entire outpatient payment system is underfunded, with hospitals receiving only 87 cents for every dollar of outpatient care they provide to America’s seniors.  At a time when hospitals face enormous challenges, it’s important that health policies reflect the vital resources needed to continue to provide care for the patients we serve.

 

About the AHA

The AHA is a not-for-profit association of health care provider organizations and individuals that are committed to the health improvement of their communities. The AHA is the national advocate for its members, which include nearly 5,000 hospitals, health care systems, networks, other providers of care and 43,000 individual members. Founded in 1898, the AHA provides education for health care leaders and is a source of information on health care issues and trends. For more information, visit the AHA website at www.aha.org.

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