AHA: 28 recommended actions for Biden in first 100 days

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Financial relief for hospitals and stronger public health preparedness are among the top priorities the American Hospital Association recommends for President-elect Joe Biden's first 100 days in office. 

The AHA, which represents nearly 5,000 hospitals, health systems and other healthcare organizations, outlined its recommended priorities for the incoming administration in a Dec. 11 letter to the president-elect. The association's recommendations follow what it describes as the nation's highest priority: aggressively ending the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Subsequent concerns that the AHA say "require immediate attention" fall under three main categories: relief for hospitals, health system recovery and rebuilding the healthcare system to make it more sustainable. The AHA also encourages the Biden administration to address ongoing challenges that have been exasperated during the pandemic, including health equity, workforce resilience and behavioral health.

Below are a few of the 28 specific priorities outlined in the letter. The AHA urges the incoming administration to: 

  • Ensure extension of the public health emergency, currently set to expire Jan. 20, 2021 — the same day as the inauguration. 
  • Ensure providers can retain Provider Relief Fund dollars by permitting the use of any reasonable method to calculate COVID-19-related lost revenue, movement of targeted distributions within a system and use of funds for increased staffing costs.
  • Open a special enrollment period for the Health Insurance Marketplaces for the duration of the public health emergency.
  • Launch robust outreach efforts to enroll the millions of people who are eligible for, but not enrolled in, some form of subsidized coverage.
  • Stop unlawful payment cuts that do not recognize legitimate differences among provider settings, i.e. site-neutral payment policies.
  • Rescind provider requirements to publicly disclose rates negotiated with insurers.
  • Rescind the "public charge" rule.
  • Expand the physician supervision requirement waiver to include nurse practitioners.
  • Make certain telehealth flexibilities permanent. (The AHA did not specify which flexibilities it wants to see secured.)
  • Enforce the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act, which requires insurers that offer coverage for behavioral health conditions to use comparable standards for those services as for medical/surgical services.

To read the AHA's recommended priorities and 28 specific action items in full, find its letter here.

 

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