The AHA today outlined its opposition to a potential policy under consideration by Congress that would cut payments to hospitals treating hospice patients. The policy stems from a 2013 Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Inspector General report that recommended a hospital transfer payment policy for early discharges to hospice care. “Hospitals discharge patients to hospice because the hospice setting is the most appropriate for delivering the care they need to meet their health needs and care goals,” AHA Executive Vice President Tom Nickels wrote to members of the U.S. House and Senate. “We believe the OIG’s recommendation, and the assumed resulting savings, fails to account for fundamental payment realities in the Inpatient Prospective Payment System as well as the real-world care that physicians and nurses provide to cancer and other hospice patients. Expanding the post-acute care transfer policy to also apply to discharges to hospice is not based on sound policy.”