The AHA yesterday urged the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission not to unfairly penalize hospitals or physicians as it considers Medicare payment policies for Part B drugs. “Our members have expressed deep concerns over their ability to provide the highest quality care to patients due to the impact that high-drug costs, including unexpected price increases, have on hospital budgets,” wrote Ashley Thompson, AHA senior vice president of public policy analysis and development. “As such, the AHA supports finding ways to rein in skyrocketing drug prices. However, it is critical that the solutions MedPAC recommends do not unfairly penalize hospitals or physicians. Hospital outpatient department Medicare margins, as reported by MedPAC, are already –12.4%.” The commission plans to discuss Medicare’s Part B drug payment policy when it meets this week. Also commenting on the commission’s March recommendation to Congress that the Department of Health and Human Services conduct focused medical reviews of inpatient rehabilitation facilities with unusual patterns of case mix and coding, AHA stressed the need for a “balanced and transparent approach” and auditor expertise when interpreting and implementing the recommendation.