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  • Washington Highlights

    House Energy and Commerce Committee Passes Health Transparency Legislation


    Len Marquez, Senior Director, Government Relations
    For Media Inquiries

    On May 24, the House Energy and Commerce Committee marked up and passed the Promoting Access to Treatments and Increasing Extremely Needed Transparency (PATIENT) Act of 2023 (H.R. 3561), legislation characterized as intending to lower costs and increase transparency across the health care system, by a vote of 49-0. The full committee markup and vote followed last week’s Health Subcommittee markup [refer to Washington Highlights, May 19]. H.R. 3561 included several impactful provisions for academic medicine including eliminating two years of pending Medicaid disproportionate share hospital (DSH) payment reductions, implementing so-called site-neutral Medicare payment policy for drugs administered in off-campus hospital outpatient departments (HOPDs), mandating 340B Drug Program reporting for hospitals, and increasing transparency through increased administrative reporting. 

    The AAMC previously commented on these proposals in a May 3 letter to committee leadership, which expressed the association’s support for addressing pending cuts to the Medicaid DSH program while underlining concerns related to so-called site-neutral payment and other hospital policies [refer to Washington Highlights, May 5]. 

    Prior to the markup, the AAMC joined the American Hospital Association and other hospital partners sending two letters to committee leaders opposing the site-neutral HOPD cuts and 340B reporting policies. The HOPD letter highlighted the unique role of HOPDs as they “treat patients who are sicker and have more chronic conditions than those treated in physician offices or ambulatory surgical centers, as they are better equipped to handle complications and emergencies.”  

    Similarly, the 340B reporting letter expressed invested parties’ “serious concerns with this mandate, which would further burden 340B providers at a time when hospitals are treating unprecedented levels of patient illness amid high inflation, increased labor costs, and other factors. These challenges have hit especially hard for 340B hospitals, which have extremely tight operating margins. New reporting requirements would only exacerbate these challenges.”