AHA pens letter to Trump calling for support of hospital policies

The American Hospital Association sent a letter to President-elect Donald Trump Wednesday, lobbying the nation's next leader to consider several policies that would support healthcare delivery in hospitals.

"To help advance health in America, we ask that your administration — in collaboration with Congress and the courts, and in partnership with healthcare providers — help modernize the public policy environment to enhance providers' ability to improve care and make it more affordable for patients," wrote Richard Pollack, president and CEO of AHA.

The letter called on Mr. Trump not to make any abrupt changes or to repeal the ACA without a replacement plan, and it outlined the following five areas of healthcare policy for Mr. Trump to consider.

1. The AHA called for some regulatory trimming and pruning. They specifically called for the elimination of Stage 3 meaningful use for hospitals, implementation of a penalty for high rates of incorrect denials under the Recovery Auditor Contractor program, protection of clinical integration arrangements under the Anti-Kickback Statute, standardization of the Federal Trade Commission's merger review process and elimination of several post-acute care regulations.

2. The organization called for the President-elect's support on several financial policies. These include addressing drug prices, protecting the 340B Drug Pricing Program, challenging mergers among payers and considering Medicare reforms, such as raising the eligibility age.

3. It asked the Trump administration to consider redesigning many quality reporting requirements. The AHA wrote that requirements are excessive, redundant and not always meaningful. Notably, it called for suspension of the hospital star ratings on the Hospital Compare website.

4. The AHA urged Mr. Trump to ensure access to care in his healthcare policies. Particularly, the hospital association pointed to continued funding for CHIP, expanded mental health services, elimination of site-neutral payment cuts and establishment of a permanent Veterans Choice Program, which allows veterans to access care outside of the VA health system.

5. The association also called for the preservation of value-based care models adopted under the ACA. The AHA asked that several models be updated, including several ACO requirements and the advanced alternative payment models under the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act.

"We look forward to working with you and your administration on public policy solutions to achieve our vision of a society of healthy communities where all individuals reach their highest potential for health," Mr. Pollack concluded.


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