AHA Statement on 2022 OPPS and PFS Final Rules

Stacey Hughes
Executive Vice President
American Hospital Association

November 2, 2021

 
Today’s final Medicare outpatient rule contains a number of important policies that will help hospitals and health systems better provide care. We are pleased that CMS recognized the unique role that hospital outpatient departments play in caring for patients by rolling back two problematic policies it put forth last year. Reinstating the list of services that Medicare will pay for only when performed in an inpatient setting due to their medical complexity, and reinstating long-standing safety criteria for allowing procedures to take place in ambulatory surgical centers, is a win for patients’ safety, health and quality of care.  
 
However, we remain disappointed that CMS will continue deep payment cuts to 340B hospitals, which threatens their ability to care for their patients and communities and goes against Congress’ intent in establishing the 340B program nearly 30 years ago. These cuts are enabled by a lower court’s deference to the government’s inaccurate interpretation of the law, which is at the center of the legal issue the Supreme Court will review later this month at our urging. Continuation of these cuts will undoubtedly exacerbate the strain on 340B hospitals, especially as the COVID-19 pandemic continues.
 
In addition, hospitals and health systems are deeply committed to helping patients access the information they need to make informed decisions about their care, including financial information. That said, we are very concerned about the significant increase in penalties for non-compliance with the hospital price transparency rule, particularly in light of the many demands placed on hospitals over the past 18 months, including both responding to COVID-19, as well as preparing to implement additional, overlapping price transparency policies.

Finally, the AHA applauds today’s 2022 Physician Fee Schedule final rule for delaying the enforcement of the Appropriate Use Criteria program as well as expanding access to telehealth services, especially for behavioral health services.
 

###


Contact:        Colin Milligan, (202) 638-5491, cmilligan@aha.org
                      Marie Johnson, (202) 626-2351, mjohnson@aha.org
 

Related Resources

Action Alert
Member
Congressional leaders today announced an agreement on a continuing resolution that would fund the government at current levels through Feb. 18. The House is…
Letter/Comment
Public
On behalf of our nearly 5,000 member hospitals, health systems and other health care organizations; our clinician partners — including more than 270,000…
Letter/Comment
Public
Twenty-five organizations, including the AHA, urge Congress to immediately extend the hold on payment cuts and private payer data reporting period under the…
Action Alert
Member
Congress is back in Washington, D.C. this week with a number of major priorities to tackle before the end of the year. Congress could act as soon as this week…
Letter/Comment
Public
AHA, others urge Congress to prevent sequester, PAYGO cuts.
Letter/Comment
Public
AHA comments on recent Medicare Payment Advisory Commission discussions on possible approaches to reducing spending on Part B drugs and biologicals, improving…