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Don't Cut Medicare

By Tom Nickels
November 20, 2017

The tax bill being considered in the House and Senate could lead to $25 billion in cuts to Medicare, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

Those are the consequences under the so-called “pay-as-you-go” law Congress passed in 2010. That law requires tax cuts and certain spending increases to be paired with offsetting provisions. If not, the law forces automatic spending cuts, also known as sequestration. Congress can prevent the cuts, but it can’t be done under the same... read more

Topic: Access and Coverage
Tag: Medicare

Five Takeaways from the MACRA 2018 Final Rule

November 14, 2017

By Akin Demehin and Caitlin Gillooley

On Nov. 2, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services released its final rule updating the Quality Payment Program required by Medicare Access & CHIP Reauthorization Act. The QPP ties Medicare payments to physicians and a handful of other types of clinicians to their performance on quality, cost and the use of electronic health records. The QPP began this year, and potential bonuses and penalties will first be applied in 2019.

While the... read more

Topic: Advocacy and Public Policy
Tag: Medicare

340B Supports Essential Hospital Services

By Rick Pollack
November 3, 2017

Millions of Americans worry about the high costs of life-saving prescription drugs. That’s why 25 years ago, Congress created the 340B Drug Pricing Program to help hospitals expand access to prescription drugs and support essential services for our most vulnerable patients.

The program constitutes less than 3% of the more than $450 billion in U.S. annual drug purchases. Because it is funded by drug manufacturer discounts, not federal dollars, it doesn’t cost the government or... read more

Topic: Advocacy and Public Policy
Tags: 340B, Drug Pricing Program, Medicare, access, regulation

What's Next in the Health Care Debate?

By Rick Pollack
September 29, 2017

Once again, the Senate attempted to pass a proposal to repeal and replace significant parts of the Affordable Care Act. Once again, it met defeat – and we are grateful.

But this fight is not over. America’s hospitals and health systems must stay vigilant and continue to make the case to protect coverage for patients.

The Graham-Cassidy proposal met the same fate as previous repeal attempts because its enactment would have had similar consequences: devastating cuts to Medicaid,... read more

Topic: Advocacy and Public Policy
Tags: Drug Pricing Program, Medicare, Coverage, advocacy, Medicaid, access

MACRA Decision Guide

By AHA STAT Staff
September 22, 2017

Are you ready for the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act or MACRA? The AHA’s MACRA resources are designed to support your needs as you implement MACRA’s sweeping changes.

Our latest offering aims to help you and your clinician partners decide which MACRA track to pursue – the Merit-based Incentive Payment System or alternative payment models. By answering a series of questions, the interactive decision guide leads participants to briefs on associated topics.

To access... read more

Topic: Advocacy and Public Policy
Tags: physician issues, physicians, Medicare

Must-do Health Care Priorities for Congress

By Rick Pollack
September 15, 2017

Today, Washington’s focus – and the media headlines – have begun to shift to matters like tax reform, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, an infrastructure package, and relief for the victims of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. However, several key issues of great importance to hospitals and health systems are still at stake as we approach the end of the federal fiscal year.

Many key policy issues that are vital to ensuring that patients continue to receive... read more

Topic: Advocacy and Public Policy
Tags: Medicare, rural, Critical Access Hospitals, advocacy, Medicaid

Urge Your Senators to Protect Coverage

By Rick Pollack
May 12, 2017

As you know, America’s hospitals and health systems are deeply disappointed in the House passage of the American Health Care Act because we believe it will jeopardize health coverage for millions of Americans. We are particularly concerned about the impact it would have on our most vulnerable citizens – older Americans, children, the disabled, and those with pre-existing conditions such as cancer and chronic conditions.

While it’s unclear what the next steps will be as it relates... read more

Topics: Access and Coverage, Advocacy and Public Policy
Tags: Medicare, Coverage, advocacy, Medicaid, leadership, members

Getting Ready for MACRA

By Rick Pollack
October 21, 2016

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services last week issued its final rule carrying out key provisions of the landmark Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA), which called for a new Medicare payment system for physicians. Eligible clinicians will participate in one of two tracks starting in 2017 – the default Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) or advanced alternative payment models (APMs), such as an accountable care organization or patient-centered... read more

Topic: Advocacy and Public Policy
Tags: physician issues, physicians, Medicare

A Call for Flexibility

By Rick Pollack
October 7, 2016

A bipartisan majority of lawmakers have delivered a strong message to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services: protect patients’ access to care and provide fair payment and more predictability for hospitals in regulations implementing “site-neutral” payment for new off-campus provider-based outpatient departments. Our thanks to four of our champions on this issue, Sens. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, and Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., and Reps. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., and Joseph Crowley,... read more

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

Brady calls for regulatory relief for hospitals

May 3, 2016

Congress must move forward with “bold solutions” to protect Medicare for today’s seniors and preserve the program for future generations, House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX) today told hospital leaders at the AHA Annual Membership Meeting in Washington, D.C. Brady talked about providing “regulatory relief and reform for hospitals,” as well as encouraging the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to work with doctors, patients and health care providers as... read more

Topic: Advocacy and Public Policy
Tag: Medicare
 

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