The House Ways and Means Committee today approved by voice vote the Helping Hospitals Improve Patient Care Act (H.R. 5273). An AHA-supported provision of the bill would revise Section 603 of the 2015 Bipartisan Budget Act to move the grandfather date for off-campus hospital outpatient departments from Nov. 2, 2015 to Dec. 31, 2016 or 60 days after enactment, whichever is later. The BBA pays grandfathered facilities at the HOPD rate, while newer facilities are capped at the lower Physician Fee Schedule rate. “For those select HOPDs that would qualify, this legislation is a significant relief, and we are supportive of the legislation on their behalf,” wrote AHA Executive Vice President Tom Nickels in a letter of support. AHA also supports provisions in the bill that would adjust the Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program to account for socioeconomic status, and extend the Rural Community Hospital Demonstration Program for five years.