Reducing Medicare reimbursement to critical access hospitals would have “a significant and detrimental impact” not only on these hospitals, but on their patients and communities, AHA told the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services today. Responding to a CMS request for the field’s input on a fiscal year 2017 budget proposal to reduce CAH reimbursement from 101% to 100% of reasonable costs, AHA Executive Vice President Tom Nickels said AHA continues to strongly advocate to maintain cost-based reimbursement of at least 101%, as required by law. Noting that CAHs are actually reimbursed “far less” due to sequestration and excluded costs, AHA said “any additional reductions would threaten and limit their ability to provide necessary health care in rural communities.” Comments on the Department of Health and Human Services budget proposal may be emailed to partnership@cms.hhs.gov until June 30.

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