General Information

House Passes Bill That Would Cut Payments to Hospitals by More Than $20 Billion

The U.S. House passed a bill this week that would pay for a two-year fix of the flawed Sustainable Growth Rate formula for physician payments by cutting payments to hospitals by more than $20 billion. Physicians face a 27 percent reduction in payments on Jan. 1, 2012. Last week, CHA sent a letter to the California congressional delegation opposing the bill.

The letter outlined the effects the bill would have on California hospitals, including reducing payments for hospital outpatient services, unreimbursed co-pays and deductibles, and Medicaid disproportionate-share hospitals.

CHA also issued an Advocacy Alert on Dec. 9 urging hospital members to call their congressional representatives to oppose the bill. The CHA Advocacy Alert and delegation letter are available at www.calhospital.org/advocacy-alert/urge-representatives-oppose-medicare-and-medicaid-cuts.

The House bill passed largely along party lines with only two California Republicans — Reps. John Campbell and Tom McClintock — voting against the bill. California Democrat Rep. Dennis Cardoza joined with the Republicans to vote yes.

President Obama has issued a veto threat for the bill and Senate Democrats have indicated the bill will not pass the Senate. Congress is still expected to come to an agreement to avoid a 27 percent cut to physicians, so CHA urges health care leaders to continue to call congressional representatives to oppose any reductions to hospitals as part of a final deal.

Commands