2016 AHA Policy Research

AHA research reports examine key issues to inform the policy making process. These include the TrendWatch series, a periodic AHA publication that reports on the latest trends affecting hospitals and the health care system as well as other AHA sponsored studies.

Estimating the Impact of Repealing the Affordable Care Act on Hospitals
The American Hospital Association and the Federation of American Hospitals today issued a new report that details the impact a potential repeal of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) would have on hospitals and health systems as they strive to care for their communities. The report finds that, under the most recent repeal without replacement bill, H.R. 3762, hospitals would face a net negative impact of $165.8 billion from 2018-2026 after accounting for the restoration of the Medicaid DSH cuts that H.R. 3762 contemplates. View Executive Summary.

AHA Members-only Toolkit on NAIC Model Network Adequacy Legislation
The AHA developed a members-only toolkit for hospital and health system leaders on the National Association of Insurance Commissioners’ model state-level legislation to ensure health insurance provider network adequacy. The toolkit includes a summary of the model legislation, FAQs and additional resources.

Trends in Hospital Inpatient Drug Costs: Issues and Challenges
The American Hospital Association and the Federation of American Hospitals commissioned this study to better understand how drug prices are changing in the inpatient hospital setting.

Individuals’ Ability to Electronically Access Their Hospital Medical Records, Perform Key Tasks is Growing, Trendwatch, July 2016
Hospitals have prioritized investment in health information technology (IT) to support the sharing of patient information among clinicians. The value of hospital adoption of electronic health records (EHRs) also extends to patients, who now have more secure electronic access to their medical information than ever before.

Issue Brief: Telehealth: Helping Hospitals Deliver Cost-Effective Care, April 2016
Telehealth is increasingly viewed as a cost-effective method to deliver patient care and expand access. The growing use of telehealth reflects larger health care trends that place the patient’s care and experience at the center of treatment decisions.

Hospitals Advance Information Sharing, but External Barriers to Increased Data Exchange Remain, TrendWatch, February 2016
Hospitals are proactively developing the means to share information between departments as well as with other care partners, patients and public health agencies. While access to health data has increased, critical infrastructure and technical barriers constrain the sharing of patient information across settings of care. This TrendWatch report explores the advances that hospitals have made in information sharing, as well as the external barriers that need to be addressed in order to support interoperability in a real-world environment.

Administrative Simplification Strategies Offer Opportunities to Improve Patient Experience and Reduce Costs, TrendWatch, January 2016
The health care system suffers from an overabundance of paper work. Hospitals and health systems can realize improvements and significant savings by increasing the volume of electronic data exchange called for under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act’s (HIPAA) administrative simplification provisions.

Uncompensated Hospital Care Cost Fact Sheet, 2016 Update
In 2014, community hospitals have provided more than $42.8 billion in uncompensated care to their patients. This fact sheet provides the definition of uncompensated care and technical information on how this figure is calculated on a cost basis.

Underpayment by Medicare and Medicaid Fact Sheet, 2016 Update
Underpayment by Medicare and Medicaid to U.S. hospitals was $51 billion in 2014. Medicare reimbursed 89 cents and Medicaid reimbursed 90 cents for every dollar hospitals spent caring for these patients. This fact sheet provides the definition of underpayment and technical information on how this figure is calculated on a cost basis for Medicare and Medicaid.

Issue Brief: Medicare's Bundled Payment Initiatives: Considerations for Providers
This issue brief describes the evolution of bundling within the Medicare program; the opportunities bundling creates for hospitals and post-acute care providers; the challenges providers have encountered in recent initiatives; the issues providers should consider when entering a bundled payment program; and policy considerations associated with a broader expansion of bundling initiatives in Medicare.

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