The House of Representatives last night approved by voice vote the Helping Hospitals Improve Patient Care Act (H.R. 5273). The AHA-backed legislation would revise Section 603 of the 2015 Bipartisan Budget Act to move the grandfather date for off-campus hospital outpatient departments under development from Nov. 2, 2015 to Dec. 31, 2016 or 60 days after enactment, whichever is later. Current law reimburses grandfathered facilities at the HOPD rate, while new facilities are capped at the lower Physician Fee Schedule rate. The 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. “This legislation will help patients by mitigating some of the negative impact of the 2015 Budget Bill and will improve access to care,” said AHA President and CEO Rick Pollack. “It also will ease penalties experienced by hospitals and health systems who treat the most vulnerable patients. We appreciate the leadership of Chairman Brady and Chairman Tiberi in moving forward this important legislation.”