As Congress seeks a path forward on critical budget issues, lawmakers should take great care not to make further cuts that could undermine quality hospital patient care or slow work to transform care delivery. An analysis by the Premier healthcare alliance shows what the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission has been reporting for years–Medicare payments to hospitals continue to fall far short of covering the cost of providing care. At the same time, hospitals are reducing deaths, hospitalizations and costs among Medicare patients.1 Because of their commitment to their communities, the nation’s 24/7 care providers are rising to the challenges of quality imperatives and meeting the demands of an aging population. This success should be encouraged by policies that support investments in innovative patient care models and interoperable health information infrastructure, not stymied by arbitrary cuts to finance other unrelated policies.
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