A bipartisan majority of lawmakers have delivered a strong message to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services: protect patients’ access to care and provide fair payment and more predictability for hospitals in regulations implementing “site-neutral” payment for new off-campus provider-based outpatient departments. Our thanks to four of our champions on this issue, Sens. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, and Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., and Reps. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., and Joseph Crowley, D-N.Y., for spearheading this effort. Their letters buttress hospitals’ arguments for more flexibility and a more accurate interpretation in how the agency applies those provisions from last year’s Bipartisan Budget Act. At the same time, we’re also pushing separate legislation – that has already passed the House – that would extend the effective date to grandfather new facilities that were under development to retain their existing provider-based status. We’ll keep pressing CMS to go back to the drawing board and come up with a fairer payment policy for 2017 or delay the regulations until it can….and, if necessary, seek relief from Congress post-election. Because the regulatory proposal will only exacerbate our challenges in providing the best possible care to patients and communities.

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