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MedPAC urged to carefully weigh impact of expanding site neutral payment policy

October 4, 2012

AHA today urged the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission to carefully consider the potential unintended consequences before expanding its "site neutral" payment policy for non-emergency evaluation and management services to other hospital outpatient services. "The AHA is extremely concerned that MedPAC is considering broadening the application of its 'site neutral' payment policy to other hospital outpatient services before we have had a chance to understand the impact of the Commission's previous recommendation to cut payments for 10 E&M services by $1 billion annually," Roslyne Schulman, AHA director of policy development, told the panel at its meeting today. "This proposal could result in beneficiary access problems and a reduced level of services for the public overall. Now MedPAC is talking about recommending even more cuts. These are deep cuts to routine outpatient services that are integral to the service mission of hospitals." The panel is expected to consider draft recommendations on the proposal next month.