The AHA Friday urged the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to include hospital services in the list of core services that states must review to ensure that proposed rate changes in the Medicaid fee-for-service program do not affect beneficiary access to covered Medicaid services. “The AHA is extremely disappointed that CMS chose to exclude hospital services, except for labor and delivery, as a core service in this critical review process,” AHA Executive Vice President Tom Nickels said in a letter on the final rule with comment period. “…If CMS intends to meaningfully hold states accountable for meeting the statutory requirements that provider payments should be sufficient to ensure beneficiaries access to care, the AHA believes this final rule must be either revised or reissued." Whichever option CMS chooses, AHA said “it is vitally important that the agency take action,” noting the Supreme Court’s decision in Armstrong v. Exceptional Child Center Inc. In the 5-4 ruling in March, the Supreme Court held that parties cannot challenge directly in federal court a state’s compliance with Section 30(a) of the Medicaid Act, which requires states to reimburse providers at rates sufficient to ensure beneficiaries enjoy the same access to health care as the general population.