fah hospital policy blog

Perspectives on health policy affecting America’s hospitals and the patients we serve.

FAH Leader Comments on Trump Administration’s Health Care Competition Report

December 03, 2018 | Chip Kahn

Category: Health Care Delivery, Realignment

Too many elements of the Administration’s report resort to the same old bromides that got us here in the first place, and would reverse the progress hospitals and others are hard at work on. 

The FAH shares the Administration’s goal to improve choice and competition for patients.  We support several specific recommendations regarding the benefits of telehealth and streamlining quality measurement programs.  And we agree that a more engaged consumer is key to driving value.

However, physician-owned hospitals are part of the problem, not the solution, as reports from GAO, OIG, and MedPAC have well documented.

Further, the report ignores that a key to patient access is to ensure community hospitals have the resources they need to provide lifesaving care for anyone who walks through our doors 24/7.  Hospitals are struggling to maintain critical service lines with hundreds of billions of dollars in Medicare cuts and negative 11 percent operating margins.  

Hospital realignment helps preserve access to care, and promotes needed clinical integration and coordination of care for patients.

Finally, patients need to know that they will be covered for the care that they require. Standards for network adequacy need to be strengthened, not relaxed, so consumers won’t be caught by surprise if their neighborhood hospitals are suddenly out-of-network or off limits.

We stand ready to work with the Administration and Congress on reforms that advance higher value health care and access for American families.