A recent opinion piece in The Hill “gives readers a one-sided, misleading and misinformed view on the issue of site-neutral payment proposals and consolidation in the health field,” writes AHA Executive Vice President Tom Nickels in an op-ed piece published Friday. “To start, the author fails to mention the fact that Americans rely on hospitals each day to provide 24/7 access to care for all types of patients, to serve as a safety net provider for vulnerable populations, including low-income people, children and the elderly, and to have the resources needed to respond to disasters ... These many critical roles that hospitals fulfill are not explicitly funded, but instead, are built into a hospital’s overall cost structure and supported by revenues received from providing direct patient care ... Hospitals providing care in their communities should not be reimbursed at the same amount as physician offices and other ambulatory facilities. Doing so fails to recognize the very different clinical capabilities provided by hospitals and would threaten access to care for the patients and communities that rely on that care each day.”