The American Hospital Association’s Annual Meeting is always of great importance and this year’s timing couldn’t be better as Congress headed back to session this week.
On its agenda: four separate House subcommittee hearings focusing on several issues that impact hospitals. Site-neutral payments, physician-owned hospitals, reductions in outpatient payments, limits to 340B, and challenges to not-for-profit status were among the topics scheduled to be discussed.
These hearings come at the same time that hospitals throughout California are facing severe financial challenges that threaten patient care and put their communities at risk. Now, more than ever, hospitals need lawmakers’ support — not legislation that could be detrimental to their livelihood.
The closure of Madera Community Hospital and the challenges facing many other California hospitals are top of mind with Congressional delegation members on both sides of the aisle. While California hospital leaders have had a strong showing emphasizing the breadth and depth of the unprecedented challenges they face, it’s critically important to keep engaging with elected officials through direct communication and response to CHA’s state and federal alerts.
Inaccurate data, faulty assumptions, and misinformation can only be countered with fact-based data and personal engagement. Whether it is at the regional, state, or federal level, we must continue to tell the hospital story — if we don’t, nobody will. Your engagement and communication, whether from your office in Sacramento or in Washington, is so important. This collective effort makes a difference to not only our elected officials, but also to the millions of Californians who depend on hospitals to be there when they need them.