Statement on Budget Deal
Executive Vice President Government Relations and Public Policy
American Hospital Association
October 27, 2015
The budget deal announced last night comes at too high of a cost to patients who may be left without access to care. This package cuts health care services for seniors to fund other programs. Continuing to raid the Medicare Trust Fund is irresponsible.
The proposal would cut funding for health care services provided in a hospital’s outpatient department – also known as “site neutral” payments. This untested idea may endanger patient access to care, especially among patients who are sicker, the poor, minorities and seniors who often receive care in hospital outpatient departments. Moreover, rural communities will be most adversely impacted, as hospitals will no longer be able to help physicians in these communities continue to provide access to their patients.
The package also extends the sequester cuts to Medicare, which continues to erode the program at a time when more seniors depend on Medicare for care.
Congress and the Administration should not balance the budget on the backs of patients and we urge them to strike the site neutral provisions from the package.
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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