Statement on Proposed FY2012 IPPS Rule
President and CEO
American Hospital Association
America's hospitals are deeply disappointed that today's proposal puts further stress on vital care on which seniors depend. Medicare already fails to cover the cost of hospital services, and these reductions ultimately make hospitals' ability to care for patients and communities even more challenging. This proposal further exacerbates the “cost-shift,” increasing health care costs to employers and other purchasers of private coverage.
We remain concerned that CMS continues to move forward with the proposed “coding offset,” which is excessive and wrongly assumes spending on inpatient hospital care has increased solely due to changes in coding. Independent research confirms that CMS' methodology does not recognize that hospitals are caring for patients who are older and sicker.
Hospital care is being threatened due to reductions to state Medicaid programs and proposed federal budget cuts to Medicare and Medicaid, which are woefully underfunded programs. At the same time, these reductions could stunt hospitals' ability to continue making important investments in such areas as information technology to enhance care. In addition, hospitals already face $155 billion in reductions, so further cuts will deplete already decreasing resources. Now is not the time to further reduce funding for critical hospital services. We strongly urge CMS to reconsider its analysis of the coding offset to protect seniors' access to care they need and deserve.
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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