A positive Medicare payment update is "absolutely essential" for both inpatient and outpatient hospital services in 2014, AHA told the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission in a letter Friday. MedPAC will vote on 2014 updates Thursday. In December, the commission considered a draft recommendation to increase hospital inpatient and outpatient payments by 1% in 2014. However, that recommendation did not take into account a 2% decrease in all Medicare payments scheduled to take effect in April under the Budget Control Act, nor the $11 billion cut to hospital inpatient payments included in the recently enacted American Taxpayer Relief Act, the AHA letter to MedPAC notes. The association also urged the commission to support positive updates for inpatient rehabilitation units/hospitals and long-term care hospitals, noting their distinct and valuable roles in treating beneficiaries needing post-acute care.