The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission today recommended that Congress update payments for hospital inpatient and outpatient services in 2017 as outlined under current law, which would provide an estimated 1.65% increase. In addition, MedPAC voted to reduce Part B drug payment rates for hospitals participating in the 340B Drug Pricing Program by 10% of the average sales price and redistribute those savings to hospitals providing uncompensated care services. “Today’s MedPAC recommendation to cut Medicare payments for hospitals in the 340B Drug Pricing Program is misdirected. MedPAC is penalizing hospitals and the patients they serve instead of addressing the real issue, the skyrocketing cost of pharmaceuticals,” said AHA Executive Vice President Tom Nickels. “We are disappointed MedPAC has ventured so far afield from their mission, especially in the face of such strong opposition by several Commissioners.” MedPAC also voted to distribute uncompensated care payments made under the disproportionate share hospital program based on data from Schedule S-10 of the hospital’s Medicare cost report, a change that would be phased in over three years. The commission also voted unanimously to recommend that Congress eliminate the calendar year 2017 update to ambulatory surgical center payment rates and that ASCs be required to submit cost data.