Press Release

Statement on Final CY 2018 Physician Fee Schedule Rule

Contact:          Colin Milligan, 202-638-5491,

                        Marie Johnson, 202-626-2351,


Tom Nickels
Executive Vice President
American Hospital Association

November 2, 2017


In today’s rule, CMS finalized a number of policies, including one that will adversely impact patient access to care by reducing Medicare rates for services hospitals provide in “new” off-campus hospital clinics. We are particularly concerned about the impact on rural and vulnerable communities that do not have sufficient access. We also remain troubled that the agency’s continued short-sighted policies on the relocation of existing off-campus provider-based clinics will prevent patients and communities from having access to the most up-to-date, high-quality services. America’s hospitals and health systems will continue to urge CMS to provide adequate support to cover the costs of providing care so that we can continue to serve as the around-the-clock access point for community care. 

With respect to physician services, the AHA is pleased that CMS implemented a further delay in implementation, until Jan. 1, 2020, of appropriate use criteria for advanced diagnostic imaging to allow providers sufficient time to understand and implement the program’s requirements. We are also supportive of the agency’s policies to make payment for new telehealth services, although we urge a more expansive approach toward telehealth coverage.

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

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