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FAH Urges Congress to Refocus on Pandemic & Provide Hospital Relief During Lame Duck

WASHINGTON – The Federation of American Hospitals (FAH) sent a letter to congressional leaders today urging lawmakers to refocus on the pandemic and provide much-needed relief for hospitals before the end of the year.

FAH is asking Congress to pass a new COVID-19 relief package, along with legislation that will fully fund the federal government and its critical health care programs, including an extension of the Medicare sequester moratorium, replenishment of the Provider Relief Fund (PRF), and changes to HHS’ rules on the use and reporting of those funds.

“The nation’s hospitals and caregivers will not relent until this pandemic is over, but we need Congressional action now,” said Chip Kahn, FAH President and CEO. “It is mission critical for Congress to continue a vital lifeline by extending the moratorium on the sequester through the conclusion of the COVID-19 emergency. With the unprecedented stresses currently facing patient care, now is not the time to resume Medicare cuts.”

Other priorities in the letter include:

  • Fund expiring Medicare, Medicaid, CHIP, and other public health extenders through September 30, 2021, and eliminate cuts to the Medicaid disproportionate share hospital (DSH) program
  • Funding for personal protective equipment (PPE)
  • Liability protections for health care professionals and facilities
  • Legislation that protects patients from surprise medical bills, while ensuring a fair process for providers and payers to negotiate payment rates
  • Implement an immediate refresh of the Unified Post-Acute Care (PAC) Prospective Payment System (PPS) mandate outlined in The IMPACT Act

The complete letter can be found here. It was sent to Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer.