AMA backs OPPS site-neutral payment proposal

The American Medical Association voiced support last week for CMS' proposal to remove hospital payment incentives from the outpatient payment rule.

In a press release Thursday, the national physician association said the site-neutral provisions of the proposed 2017 Medicare Outpatient Prospective Payment System would help align payment policies for hospitals with those for independent physicians.

"The CMS proposal could help stem the tide of consolidation by large systems and help small practices maintain their independence," the AMA statement read. The proposed provision would pay for physician services at independent practices or at off-campus, hospital-owned practices at the same rate.

"Providing similar payments for similar professional services located outside of a hospital campus, regardless of facility ownership, could lead to a more level economic playing field and help preserve independent practice," AMA President Andrew Gurman said in the press release. "The new policy is more equitable for patients, who, CMS notes, often pay more for the same service provided in an off-campus department of a hospital."


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