President and CEO
American Hospital Association
October 9, 2019
We applaud the Department of Health and Human Services for putting patients first and taking action to modernize the rules so they support, rather than hinder, the teamwork among health care providers that is so essential to providing the best, most comprehensive patient care.
When health care providers are able to work together to coordinate care, it is patients that benefit the most. For far too long, a group of out-of-date regulations has created unnecessary roadblocks to the kind of collaboration and coordination that enables caregivers to meet all of their patients’ health care needs, whether in the hospital, the doctor’s office or their own homes.
Despite widespread agreement by Congress, and even previous administrations, that these regulations needed to be modernized, today’s proposal is the first major step toward achieving that goal. The changes proposed should help to supplant numerous waivers of these same regulations needed to experiment with collaborative and innovative programs to provide cost-effective comprehensive care through new value-based models, such as Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs). And, they do so without sacrificing the law’s original purpose – to prevent physicians from referring patients to facilities in which they have a financial stake.
By removing outdated barriers to teamwork, hospital and doctors will be able to more quickly implement new and better ways to treat patients with chronic conditions, discharge patients to their homes sooner, provide them with more in-depth counseling to avoid complications and even provide services to speed their recovery, such as home visits, remote monitoring and delivered meals.
We look forward to submitting comments on the proposed rules.
Marie Johnson, (202) 626-2351 , (202) 626-2319