AHA, AAMC seek rehearing for site-neutral payment case

The American Hospital Association and the Association of American Medical Colleges plan to seek a rehearing in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit for their site-neutral payment lawsuit.  

The appeals court overturned a lower court decision July 17, which allows HHS’ site-neutral payment policy that cuts Medicare payments for hospital outpatient visits to move forward. 

Now the two groups are seeking a rehearing, arguing the “illegal cuts directly undercut the clear intent of Congress to protect hospital outpatient departments because of the many real and crucial differences between them and other sites of care.”

In its final Outpatient Prospective Payment System rule for 2019, CMS made payments for clinic visits site-neutral by reducing the payment rate for evaluation and management services provided at off-campus provider-based departments.

In an attempt to overturn the rule, the AHA, AAMC, and dozens of hospitals sued CMS, arguing it exceeded its authority when it finalized the cuts in the rule.  

“We look forward to a prompt rehearing of our case to overturn these unlawful cuts,” the industry groups wrote.  

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