As Congress begins to focus on its year-end agenda, AHA today urged lawmakers to prioritize certain actions to help hospitals and health systems address rising costs, workforce challenges and diminished Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements. The letter encourages Congress to establish a temporary per diem payment to address a backlog in hospital patient discharges due to workforce shortages; make permanent certain COVID-19 public health emergency waivers, and extend or make permanent the Medicare-dependent Hospital and enhanced Low-volume Adjustment programs; increase the number of Medicare-supported graduate medical education positions; pass legislation to streamline Medicare Advantage prior authorization requirements; create a special statutory designation for metropolitan anchor hospitals; and prevent the Statutory PAYGO sequester from taking effect. AHA today also released a new data brief highlighting the continued financial challenges that hospitals and health systems face that are jeopardizing access to care for patients and communities. 

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