- Lawmakers in the House introduced a bill Wednesday that would allow Medicare to adjust for patients’ socioeconomic status during hospital readmissions, Modern Healthcare reports.
- The bipartisan legislation also would allow freestanding hospital outpatient centers that are under construction to collect higher rates than centers that are not owned by hospitals.
- The Federal of American Hospitals and Association of American Medical Colleges were quick to endorse the bill.
The measure, from Ways and Means health subcommittee leaders Reps. Pat Tiberi (R-OH) and Jim McDermott (D-WA), would also postpone CMS' authority to shutter poor performing Medicare Advantage plans. It would be paid for entirely with spending offsets.
Under the Hospital Re-admissions Reduction Program, part of the Affordable Care Act, hospitals are fined if they have high rates of patients who readmit within 30 days. The hospital industry has complained that this unfairly hurts rural and safety net hospitals.
The proposed legislation would compare hospitals with similar Medicare and Medicaid populations when determining adjustments.
“The Helping Hospitals Improve Patient Care Act makes important changes that will allow hospitals to continue to provide high-quality care to patients as we implement recent payment reforms,” McDermott said in a statement.