CHA sent a letter to the California congressional delegation outlining concerns about reducing Medicare payments to hospitals as a result of a provision of the Promoting Access to Treatments and Increasing Extremely Needed Transparency (PATIENT) Act (H.R. 3561).
Special urgency was given to the California members of the House Energy & Commerce Committee in advance of their May 24 markup of the bill.
In the letter, CHA affirmed that now is not the time for Congress to cut Medicare payments as California’s hospitals struggle to keep their doors open to care for patients in their communities, with one in five on the brink of closure before the end of this year. CHA reiterated that the site-neutral payment provision in the PATIENT Act is a cut to Medicare and will compromise access to care.
On Wednesday, the committee reported the PATIENT Act unanimously. The CHA-supported two-year delay to the Medicaid disproportion share payment cuts was included in H.R. 3561. But unfortunately, a CHA-opposed provision to equalize Medicare payments for physician-administered drugs regardless of the setting was included — at a cost to California’s hospitals of $4.3 million next year. The committee also reported a bill, H.R. 3290, to add several onerous reporting requirements to all covered entities in the 340B program. CHA opposed the provision.
The committee-approved bills could be considered by the full House as early as next month.