The AHA today shared with the House Ways and Means Health Subcommittee suggestions for enhancing existing hospital quality reporting and pay-for-performance programs to more effectively drive improvement in outcomes and health. In a statement submitted for a hearing on the issue, AHA recommended streamlining Medicare quality reporting and payment program measures to focus on the highest priority quality issues; incorporating socioeconomic adjustment into the Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program; and reforming the Hospital-Acquired Conditions Reduction Program “to provide a fairer, more effective incentive to improve performance.” AHA also recommended changes to pay-for-performance legislation for post-acute care providers (H.R. 3298) to achieve an appropriate balance between lower cost and better care. “Without a more balanced, budget-neutral approach that includes an assessment of quality, the PAC [value-based purchasing] program appears to function as a mechanism to cut provider payments in perpetuity, rather than primarily as a way to promote value,” AHA said. Witnesses at the hearing included Elisabeth Wynn, senior vice president of health economics and finance for the Greater New York Hospital Association.