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AAMC Commends MedPAC for Reasoned Approach to Short Stay Payments

Washington, D.C., March 5, 2015—AAMC (Association of American Medical Colleges) President and CEO Darrell G. Kirch, MD, issued the following statement in response to the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission’s (MedPAC) discussion of hospital short stay issues at its March meeting:

“The AAMC commends MedPAC for its reasoned, considered approach to addressing short stay payments. The nation’s medical schools and teaching hospitals have long believed that issues surrounding long observation stays, the Two Midnight Rule, and short inpatient stays do not lend themselves to a simple payment solution without Recovery Audit Contractor (RAC) program reform. It is not reimbursement that governs physicians’ admissions decisions. Rather, it is physicians’ clinical judgment of what is medically necessary for the patient.  

We also are pleased that MedPAC understands the need to hold RACs accountable by tying RAC contingency fees to denial overturn rates. At the same time, the association does not support recommendations that would undermine physician medical judgment and discourage innovation by targeting hospitals with penalties solely because they treat the sickest and most complex patients and therefore have a larger number of short inpatient stays.

The AAMC looks forward to continuing to work with MedPAC to ensure that efforts to resolve issues around short stays, the Two Midnight Rule, and RAC reform do not penalize hospitals for admitting patients whose medical needs demand inpatient care."


The Association of American Medical Colleges is a not-for-profit association dedicated to transforming health care through innovative medical education, cutting-edge patient care, and groundbreaking medical research. Its members comprise all 147 accredited U.S. and 17 accredited Canadian medical schools; nearly 400 major teaching hospitals and health systems, including 51 Department of Veterans Affairs medical centers; and more than 80 academic societies. Through these institutions and organizations, the AAMC serves the leaders of America’s medical schools and teaching hospitals and their nearly 160,000 faculty members, 83,000 medical students, and 115,000 resident physicians. Additional information about the AAMC and its member medical schools and teaching hospitals is available at



Susan Beach