“Every year, hospitals are asked to do a little bit more with less,” writes Mike Abrams, president and CEO of the Ohio Hospital Association, in a letter published Oct. 12 in the Columbus Dispatch. “Unfortunately, there is more bad news looming, this time from the federal government and the Medicare program. The government has proposed a change that will cut $51 million from Medicare payments to Ohio hospitals for treatment provided to older Ohioans. The U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar recently described that change as eliminating a payment loophole. These changes may look good to bean counters in Washington but they are not good for the people of Ohio. For the communities, patients and employees of Ohio’s hospitals, this cut will mean hard choices about the services and jobs that hospitals support. The government is reviewing feedback on this proposed cut right now. A final decision is due at the beginning of November. We’re grateful to Sen. Rob Portman, who has taken a leading role in combating this change. We offer similar thanks to Sen. Sherrod Brown for supporting the effort. We hope that Ohio’s members in the U.S. House of Representatives can offer a similar voice.”

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