Direct supervision enforcement moratorium introduced in House   02/18/2014
Rep. Lynn Jenkins (R-KS) today introduced a House companion to AHA-supported legislation passed by the Senate last week, which would extend through 2014 the enforcement moratorium on the outpatient therapy “direct supervision” policy for critical access hospitals and rural prospective payment system hospitals with100 or fewer beds. The Senate bill (S. 1954) was introduced by Sen. Jerry Moran (R-KS). AHA has urged the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to extend the moratorium, which expired Jan. 1, to protect access to outpatient therapeutic services. If approved by the House, the legislation would give Congress more time to enact legislation such as the AHA-supported Protecting Access to Rural Therapy Services Act (H.R. 2801/S. 1143), which would adopt a default standard of “general supervision” for outpatient therapeutic services, among other provisions.
AHA files brief supporting subsidies in federal-facilitated exchanges   02/18/2014
AHA yesterday urged the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit to affirm a district court ruling that rejected a legal challenge to premium subsidies for lower income Americans in states that do not set up their own health insurance exchanges. “In short, the [Affordable Care Act] will not work without subsidies, and Congress knew it,” AHA said in a friend-of-the-court brief. “Yet plaintiffs insist that Congress designed the ACA so that tens of millions of Americans, in more than half the states, would be walled off from subsidies altogether. That interpretation should be rejected for many reasons. It would be devastating to the ACA and to that statute’s key goals. It would be equally devastating to America’s hospitals.... And, critically, it bears no resemblance to what Congress intended.”
Hospitals bring $6 billion to Iowa economy   02/18/2014
Iowa hospitals generate nearly 120,000 jobs that add more than $6 billion to the state's economy, according to a new analysis by the Iowa Hospital Association. The study found that Iowa hospitals directly employ 71,437 people and create another 48,553 jobs outside the hospital sector. As an income source, hospitals provide $4.2 billion in salaries and benefits and generate another $1.8 billion through other jobs that depend on hospitals. “Just as no one provides the services and community benefits found at community hospitals, there is also no substitute for the jobs and business hospitals provide and create,” said IHA President and CEO Kirk Norris.
Reminder: Town Hall webcast tomorrow with AHA Chairman James Hinton   02/18/2014
Tune in to the next members-only AHA Town Hall Webcast tomorrow at 4 p.m. Eastern Time for an opportunity to meet 2014 AHA Chairman James H. Hinton and hear his take on what’s in store for hospitals this year. AHA Senior Vice President of Communications Alicia Mitchell will welcome Hinton, who serves as president and CEO of Presbyterian Healthcare Services in Albuquerque, NM. AHA Senior Vice President of Federal Relations Tom Nickels will also provide a federal update during the webcast. Click here or call (800) 424-4301 for more information.