Hospital and health system leaders from across the country are coming to Washington, D.C., for the AHA Annual Membership Meeting, May 3-6, and to carry hospitals’ advocacy message of relief, reform and resources to their legislators and staff on Capitol Hill.

First, they will call for relief from burdensome and confusing audits, regulations and paperwork requirements that divert resources from patient care. Second, they will urge Congress to remove outdated regulations and administrative red tape that hinders hospitals’ ability to navigate a changing health care landscape. And, third, hospital leaders will stress their need for stable and predictable reimbursement as they strive to transform and improve care for patients.

Hospitals’ message of relief, reform and resources means, among other things, reining in overly zealous recovery audit contractors that drown hospitals in unmanageable record requests and inappropriate payment denials; removing the 96-hour-rule for critical access hospitals and rescinding a requirement that a physician or non-physician practitioner be present when outpatient therapeutic services are provided at small rural hospitals; adjusting Medicare readmissions penalties for sociodemographic factors; rejecting further cuts to funding for hospital care and embracing structural Medicare reforms – not piecemeal provider cuts.

 

The AHA’s 2015 advocacy agenda.  The AHA April 27 released in more detail its annual advocacy agenda outlining the association’s key advocacy priorities for 2015. The agenda, which AHA members will use to explain the hospital field’s concerns to their legislators, will be highlighted at the annual meeting.

The agenda focuses on transforming the health care delivery system and maintaining essential resources. Transformation topics include new care delivery models; improving quality, safety and the patient experience; health coverage and access; health information technology; workforce; quality measurement and pay-for-performance programs; barriers to care coordination; program integrity; medical liability reform; and hospital price transparency. The essential resources section addresses how hospitals need stability and predictability, not additional cuts, as they continue to transform and improve care.

For more on the agenda, click here.