AHA Statement on Omnibus Legislation
President and CEO
American Hospital Association
December 20, 2022
The AHA is pleased that on a bipartisan basis Congress recognizes the immense pressure America’s hospitals, health systems and our caregivers are facing. This legislation will deliver critical support and resources so we can better care for our patients and create healthier communities. Due to skyrocketing cost increases for supplies, equipment, drugs and labor, challenging workforce shortages, and the “tripledemic” of COVID-19, flu, and RSV, the hospital field is stretched thin and on the brink.
Specifically, we are pleased that this bill prevents significant four percent Medicare PAYGO cuts to providers, extends two key programs for two years that help rural hospitals keep their doors open, and extends for two years critical waivers for telehealth and hospital-at-home programs that have led to improvements in care and made medical treatment more convenient and accessible for patients. Additionally, we appreciate Congress giving partial relief to physicians by rolling back Medicare payment cuts and including important provisions to improve the nation’s preparedness for the next pandemic, train the next generation of caregivers, bolster behavioral health care providers and expand access to behavioral health services. Finally, helping states prepare for changes in Medicaid eligibility due to the end of the Public Health Emergency could help them transition those individuals to other forms of health coverage.
However, this is just a part of what needs to be done to support those on the front lines caring for patients. In the new year, we will continue to advocate for Congress and the Administration to take action to address patient discharge backlogs, support our current workforce and increase the pipeline into the future, hold commercial health insurers accountable for policies that compromise patient safety and add burden to care providers, and strengthen hospitals that care for a disproportionate number of patients covered by government programs or are uninsured, to name a few of our priorities.
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