Thanks to medical advances, patients are increasingly and safely undergoing a broad range of surgical procedures outside hospitals’ traditional four walls. In fact, two of every three surgeries performed by our member hospitals are now done on an outpatient basis. That’s why recent reports of some employers trying to exclude outpatient surgeries from employer-sponsored health plans are so alarming. These so-called “skinny plans” deny consumers’ important medical choices and can discourage patients from seeking needed care. “Skinny plans,” in short, run contrary to the Affordable Care Act’s promise of comprehensive, affordable coverage. This week, the AHA weighed-in on the controversy, and strongly urged swift action by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and the Department of the Treasury to protect consumers from limited benefit plans. This builds on AHA’s successful work in 2014 to correct “skinny plans” attempting to exclude needed inpatient coverage. It also reflects our continuing commitment to securing patient access to a comprehensive range of benefits so patients can get the care they need. 

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