The AHA agrees with the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission that positive payment updates for the hospital inpatient and outpatient prospective payment systems are necessary in fiscal year 2018, the association told the commission in comments submitted Friday. “We appreciate the Commission’s recognition that Medicare payments will remain below the cost of providing care – specifically, that, in FY 2017, the average hospital is projected to have an overall Medicare margin of negative 10.0%,” wrote Ashley Thompson, AHA senior vice president of public policy analysis and development. MedPAC will vote on its FY 2018 payment recommendations later this week. While the commission did not make any draft site-neutral payment recommendations last month, AHA said it continues to oppose the commission’s previous site-neutral payment recommendations. The association also urged the commission to recommend the current-law market-basket increase for long-term care hospitals and skilled nursing facilities in FY 2018. In response to the commission’s discussion of inpatient rehabilitation facility patient assessments, AHA said any evaluation of patient assessments should be comprehensive and transparent.