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Hospital leaders tell Congress 'no more cuts'

February 13, 2013

Hospitals leaders united today on Capitol Hill to deliver a direct message to lawmakers: No more cuts to funding for hospital care. Participants in the AHA Advocacy Day event, which included a live webcast, were briefed on concerns related to several approaching fiscal deadlines, beginning with automatic spending cuts set to take effect March 1 under the Budget Control Act sequester, which includes a 2% cut to Medicare spending. For example, proposals by lawmakers and others to delay or replace certain sequester cuts, or make any health care reductions for other deficit reduction purposes, could include reducing payments for evaluation and management services and other procedures provided in hospital outpatient departments; cuts to graduate medical education, bad debt and provider assessments; additional Medicare prospective coding offsets; and changes to programs that support rural health care. After the briefing, hospital leaders met with lawmakers and their staffs to urge support for alternatives that represent real solutions to the deficit and reject further hospital payment cuts that could jeopardize access to patient care.