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  • Washington Highlights

    House Passes Hospital Payment Reform Legislation

    Len Marquez, Senior Director, Government Relations

    The House June 7 passed The Helping Hospitals Improve Patient Care Act of 2016 (H.R. 5273), legislation that would incorporate consideration of socioeconomic status (SES) in the Medicare Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program (HRRP), and provide a narrow Sec. 603 exemption for “mid-build” off-campus hospital outpatient departments (HOPDs) at the time of enactment of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015, among other provisions.

    AAMC President and CEO Darrell G. Kirch, MD, praised the House action stating, “A great deal of compromise and hard work went into crafting and passing this legislation, and we applaud Republican and Democratic leaders in the House for putting the health of all Americans first and working in a bipartisan manner to make this happen….We strongly urge the Senate to follow the House’s lead and pass this important legislation that will help increase access to health care for all Americans.”

    The legislation also includes several provisions introduced by the House Ways and Means Committee with bipartisan support over the past year, including provisions specific to rural community hospitals, long-term care hospitals, and cancer hospitals, among others [see Washington Highlights, May 27].