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Rep. Renacci Introduces Legislation to Amend the Hospital Readmission Reduction Program

March 14, 2014—Rep. Jim Renacci (R-Ohio) March 11 introduced the Establishing Beneficiary Equity in the Hospital Readmission Program Act (H.R. 4188), bipartisan legislation that would amend the Hospital Readmission Reduction Program (HRRP), established in the Affordable Care Act (ACA, P.L. 111-148 and P.L. 111-152). The bill would require the HRRP to adjust for patient disparities such as socioeconomic status (SES) in a hospital’s proportion of inpatients who are eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid benefits, also known as dual eligibles [see Washington Highlights, Feb. 28, 2013].

In a March 11 statement, Rep. Renacci stated, “it is clear that the Hospital Readmission Reduction Program unfairly penalizes hospitals caring for our country’s most disadvantaged population. Though the program incentivizes hospitals to reduce readmission rates, it doesn’t take into account research linking socioeconomic status to readmission penalties. Sadly, the program is inadvertently taking resources from safety-net and teaching hospitals that could be better spent helping patients avoid rehospitalization.”

AAMC Chief Public Policy Officer Atul Grover, M.D., Ph.D., echoed the necessity of the legislation and stated, “The AAMC strongly supports The Establishing Beneficiary Equity in the Hospital Readmissions Program Act. This bipartisan legislation would ensure hospitals treating our nation's most medically complex and vulnerable patients are not unfairly penalized under the Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program. The AAMC is committed to reducing unnecessary re-hospitalizations and this legislation takes important steps to improve the Medicare readmissions program.”

Twenty-two representatives joined Rep. Renacci as original cosponsors, and the legislation has been referred to the House Ways and Means Committee.


Len Marquez
Director, Government Relations
Telephone: 202-862-6281

Courtney Summers
Senior Legislative Analyst
Telephone: 202-862-6042


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Washington Highlights, a weekly electronic newsletter, features brief updates on the latest legislative and regulatory activities affecting medical schools and teaching hospitals.

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Jason Kleinman
Sr. Legislative Analyst, Govt. Relations
Telephone: 202-903-0806