AHA March 18 shared with the House Ways and Means Committee its proposals to strengthen access to timely emergency medical care, particularly in rural and underserved areas. These include policies that promote flexible payment options, ensure fair and adequate reimbursement, and bolster the workforce.

“Hospitals and health systems are the lifeblood of their communities and committed to ensuring local access to health care,” AHA said in a statement submitted to the committee for its hearing March 18 in Denton, Texas, on ensuring resilient emergency medical care. “At the same time, many hospitals, including those in rural and underserved areas, continue to experience unprecedented challenges that jeopardize access and services. These include workforce shortages, high costs of prescription drugs, and continued severe underpayment by Medicare and Medicaid.”

In addition to two emergency care patients, witnesses at the hearing included Matt Zavadsky, chief transformation officer for MedStar Mobile Healthcare; Ted Matthews, CEO of Anson (Texas) General Hospital; Edward Racht, M.D., chief medical officer for Global Medical Response; and Robert Morris, CEO of Complete Care.

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