House Ways and Means Committee leaders today unveiled the Helping Hospitals Improve Patient Care Act (H.R. 5273), bipartisan legislation containing numerous provisions affecting hospitals. AHA staff are reviewing the bill, which the committee could markup as soon as next week. Among other provisions, the legislation would adjust Section 603 of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 to extend flexibility to hospital outpatient departments in development when the law was enacted, and adjust the Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program to account for socioeconomic status. AHA members today received a Special Bulletin with more information. “America’s hospitals appreciate the leadership of Chairman Brady and Representatives Tiberi and McDermott on behalf of the hospital community,” said AHA Executive Vice President Tom Nickels. “They clearly grasped the unintended consequences of last year’s Bipartisan Budget Act that severely impacted hospital outpatient facilities under development and jeopardized access to patient care. We agree with their policy that the readmissions program needs to be adjusted to account for socioeconomic status. We will continue to review the legislation and work with the committee to help improve patient care.”