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Better Care at Every Stage of Life

By Rick Pollack
September 23, 2016

It was great to see Rich Umbdenstock, the AHA’s president emeritus, this week at the Coalition to Transform Advanced Care’s summit on the future of advanced illness care. Rich recently joined the board of C-TAC, a diverse alliance of patient, provider, private sector and faith-based groups dedicated to ensuring patients receive comprehensive, high-quality care that is consistent with their values and honors their dignity. Speaking at this week’s summit, I noted how hospitals,... read more

Topic: Access and Coverage

Prescription Opioid and Heroin Epidemic Awareness Week

September 22, 2016

Every day, America’s hospitals and health systems are on the front lines of combatting the epidemic of addiction to prescription opioids or heroin. This public health crisis is rapidly growing in communities across the country and can no longer be ignored. To that end, the Administration announced this week as Prescription Opioid and Heroin Epidemic Awareness Week.  To help patients, hospitals and communities combat the opioid epidemic, the AHA has a variety of resources to help,... read more

Topic: Advocacy and Public Policy
Tag: opioids

Making the Case

By Rick Pollack
September 16, 2016

Hospital leaders earlier this week came to Washington for an AHA-hosted Advocacy Day briefing that laid the groundwork for meetings with lawmakers on Capitol Hill. Front and center in those talks were our concerns about stopping the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services from moving forward with proposed regulations implementing “site-neutral” payment for new off-campus provider-based outpatient departments. We want Congress to press the agency for both flexibility and a more... read more

Topic: Advocacy and Public Policy
Tags: site neutral payment, advocacy

Hospital Leaders on the Hill

September 13, 2016

Today, hundreds of hospital leaders are reaching out to their members of Congress to talk about the challenges facing their patients and communities.

What are the issues facing hospitals and health systems today? Recent developments regarding the so-called site-neutral payment provisions included in the outpatient prospective payment system (OPPS) proposed rule and legislation, the Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program (HRRP), among others.

The American Hospital Association... read more

Topic: Advocacy and Public Policy
Tags: quality improvement, patient safety, readmissions, site neutral payment, advocacy

Prepared to Care

By Rick Pollack
September 9, 2016

This Sunday marks the 15th anniversary of that fateful day when hospitals in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Virginia, Washington, D.C., and western Pennsylvania received the call to prepare for victims of terrorist attacks. Nurses, doctors, emergency workers and others worked side by side, relying on teamwork and training to assist those who needed help. There is a picture I keep in my office taken on that clear blue day on Sept. 11, 2001 of doctors, nurses and administrators... read more

Topic: Advocacy and Public Policy
Tag: Emergency Preparedness

Promoting Coverage Stability

By Rick Pollack
August 26, 2016

Several health insurers, both large and small, have announced plans to dramatically scale back their offerings in the Health Insurance Marketplaces next year. This development is troubling because more than 11 million Americans rely on the Marketplaces for their health coverage, and access to care – facilitated by affordable health care coverage – is foundational to building healthy lives and healthy communities. We think there are steps that can be taken now to ensure the... read more

Topic: Access and Coverage

The Real Reason Behind Observation Status

By Rick Pollack
August 22, 2016

“New Medicare Law to Notify Patients of Loophole in Nursing Home Coverage, the article rightly highlights the role of Recovery Audit Contractors (RACs) -- overzealous government audit contractors -- in the increase in observation status. Their constant second-guessing of physician judgement on short hospital stays is the true cause of the increase of observation stays, which some have depicted in an inaccurate way. 

Allowing RACs to deny the care provided years after the patient... read more

Topic: Access and Coverage

Fair and Equitable

By Rick Pollack
August 19, 2016

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has a responsibility to provide fair and equitable compensation to hospitals for the care they provide to Medicare patients. Sadly, the way the agency proposes to treat new off-campus provider-based outpatient clinics falls far short of that standard. The regulations interpret a provision of last year’s Bipartisan Budget Act so narrowly as to erode a service vital to many sicker, poor, minority and elderly patients, especially in rural... read more

Topic: Advocacy and Public Policy

Appropriate Use of Medical Resources: Putting It All Together

By John R. Combes, MD
August 16, 2016

Over the past two decades – and the past five years in particular – a national discussion emerged that focused on managing rising health care costs. These increases have not always led to improved outcomes, and at the same time, medical knowledge has increased exponentially and clinical knowledge is doubling as fast as every two years. But with all this knowledge looms a larger debate, when are we doing too much and how do we decide?

In late 2013, the American Hospital Association... read more

Topic: Access and Coverage

Going for the Gold

By Rick Pollack
August 12, 2016

Olympic athletes have natural talent, dedication and drive – and every four years their skills are on display for all the world to see. Every day, Olympic-sized talent, dedication and drive are on display at hospitals across America. We celebrated our hospital Olympians for their inspiring work at our recent Leadership Summit. Circle of Life Award recipients Bon Secours Palliative Medicine, the Cambia Palliative Care Center of Excellence at UW Medicine and Susquehanna Health... read more

Topics: Quality and Patient Safety, Access and Coverage, Advocacy and Public Policy, Community Health
Tag: awards




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