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

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.