Executive Vice President
American Hospital Association
November 1, 2022
While the AHA is pleased that CMS will provide hospitals and health systems with an improved update to outpatient payments next year compared to the agency’s proposal in July, the increase is still insufficient given the extraordinary cost pressures hospitals face from labor, supplies, equipment, drugs and other expenses. As we urged, CMS will use more recent data in its calculations on the payment update, resulting in more accurate data that better reflects the historic inflation and tremendous financial pressures hospitals and health systems have confronted recently. However, hospitals are still dealing with a wide range of challenges in providing care, which is why the AHA is urging Congress for additional support by the end of the year.
We appreciate that after the unanimous favorable ruling in our 340B Supreme Court case, CMS is ending its unlawful cuts to 340B hospitals. This will help 340B hospitals provide important comprehensive health services to their patients and communities. However, we continue to urge the Administration to promptly reimburse those hospitals that were harmed by their unlawful cuts in previous years. In addition, we continue to call on the agency to ensure the remainder of the hospital field is not penalized for the prior unlawful policy, especially as hospitals and health systems continue to face immense financial pressures and workforce shortages. We do not believe the agency needs more time to put forth a separate rule on a remedy as it has had more than adequate time to correct its mistakes.
The AHA is glad that CMS has finalized several proposals related to the Rural Emergency Hospital (REH) model. The REH model will help rural hospitals continue to serve as an access point to care in their communities, which is especially critical given the continued challenges they face in the current financial environment. We look forward to further engaging with the agency and Congress to refine the new provider type.