The AHA today urged leaders of the House Ways and Means Committee not to reduce outlier payments to long-term care hospitals to pay for certain exceptions to the moratorium on new LTCH beds and facilities. “While the AHA appreciates the committee’s interest in easing the burdens faced by LTCHs, and we do not oppose the underlying legislation, we oppose efforts to pay for such changes through additional payment cuts to these facilities,” wrote AHA Executive Vice President Rick Pollack. “…Given the numerous payment reductions LTCHs are preparing to face this year, we strongly encourage the committee not to seek money from the LTCH prospective payment system to pay for this legislation. Specifically, the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013 established stringent LTCH payment criteria, which will reduce reimbursement for one out of two current LTCH patients, resulting in a $3 billion cut in LTCH payments. Further, the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 reduces the fiscal year 2018 LTCH market basket to 1.0%. Due to the magnitude of these cuts, now is not the time for congressional action to further reduce LTCH payments.” The committee expects to mark up the legislation tomorrow.