AMAC is pleased to support a bipartisan, budget-neutral piece of legislation that aims to mitigate one of the consequences of ObamaCare. S. 2501, the “Hospital Readmissions Program Accuracy and Accountability Act,” was introduced last week by Senators Joe Manchin (D-WV), Bill Nelson (D-FL), Mark Kirk (R-IL), and Roger Wicker (R-MS) and seeks to ensure that hospitals treating a higher proportion of low-income Medicare patients are not unfairly penalized by the Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program (HRRP). Created by ObamaCare, the HRRP bases reimbursements to hospitals on the number of avoidable readmissions for Medicare patients. However, hospitals that serve higher numbers of low-income patients are being overly penalized – even if their quality of care is high – because these types of patients are more likely to be readmitted to hospitals for reasons beyond hospitals’ control. Thus, S. 2501 would require that the HRRP account for patients’ socio-economic status and other clinical factors when calculating reimbursements. While AMAC believes that this bill will enable hospitals to evaluated more accurately and fairly, AMAC recognizes the HRRP to be another flawed provision in ObamaCare that allows the Federal government to determine the quality of care provided by doctors and hospitals. AMAC remains in firm opposition to ObamaCare, but on behalf of mature Americans and seniors, AMAC is committed to supporting legislation like S. 2501 that will address the most difficult parts of the law.
The Honorable Joe Manchin
306 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
Dear Senator Manchin,
On behalf of the 1.2 million members of AMAC, the Association of Mature American Citizens, I am writing to offer support to S. 2501, the “Hospital Readmissions Program Accuracy and Accountability Act.” This bipartisan, budget-neutral bill seeks to ensure that hospitals servicing a higher proportion of low-income Medicare patients are not unfairly penalized by the Hospital Readmissions Reductions Program (HRRP) – a flawed program established by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, known more commonly as “ObamaCare.”
Under ObamaCare, the HRRP bases Diagnosis Related Group (DRG) reimbursements for hospitals on the number of avoidable readmissions for Medicare patients. Yet, in many cases, hospitals that are treating disproportionately high numbers of low-income patients are being overly penalized – even if their quality of care is high – because their patients are more likely to be readmitted due to factors outside of the hospitals’ control. To address this critical concern, S. 2501 aims to ensure that the HRRP actually reflects the quality of care that hospitals provide by evaluating socio-economic status and other clinical factors, such as comorbidities and the severity of patient illness, when calculating reimbursements. AMAC believes that S. 2501 will enable hospitals treating Medicare beneficiaries nationwide to be evaluated in a more accurate manner.
Given the diverse health care needs of Americans across the country, AMAC has never felt that the Federal government is the proper authority to determine the quality of care provided by doctors and hospitals. AMAC remains very concerned about the unintended and unrecognized impacts of ObamaCare on Medicare and the delivery of health care to mature Americans. AMAC believes this bill is the type of important and targeted legislation needed to address the most difficult parts of ObamaCare. Thanks to your attention to this significant issue, AMAC is pleased to support S. 2501, the “Hospital Readmissions Program Accuracy and Accountability Act.”
President and Founder of AMAC