The AHA today urged Congress to act on several critical hospital and health system priorities when it returns after the elections. “America’s hospitals appreciate the leadership and support many in Congress have shown this year on numerous issues important to patients and the hospitals and health systems that serve them,” wrote AHA Executive Vice President Tom Nickels in letters to members of the House and Senate. “As the Congress considers year-end legislation, there are five issues in particular where we urge you to take immediate action.” The specific issues include: addressing the consequences of the Bipartisan Budget Act on Medicare outpatient payment to hospital-based clinics that were under development at the time of the law’s passage; establishing a socioeconomic adjustment in the Medicare readmissions program; extending the Rural Community Hospital Demonstration program; providing “25% Rule” relief for long-term care hospitals; and ensuring flexibility in physician supervision for critical access hospitals. Each issue has been included in legislation introduced during this session and some have already passed one body of Congress, AHA notes.