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Pa. Lawmakers Urge CMS to Support Hospitals

April 04, 2023

Members of Pennsylvania’s congressional delegation are urging CMS to support hospitals and ensure Medicare payments accurately reflect the cost of inpatient care.

In a joint letter published Monday, nine representatives from Pennsylvania districts wrote to CMS about the proposed payment updates in the Inpatient Prospective Payment System (IPPS) for FY (fiscal year) 2024.

The lawmakers noted that staffing shortages and the rising cost of care are putting considerable strain on Pennsylvania’s hospitals. The updated IPPS should ensure Medicare payments for “acute care services more accurately reflect the cost of providing hospital care today and for the coming year,” they said.

“If the current trajectory continues, and CMS does not act to the extent needed, it is unclear whether hospitals will be able to weather the financial disruption this crisis has created, which could, in turn, affect access to care across the commonwealth,” the letter noted.

Here’s what you need to know:

  • Happening this week:  CMS is expected to publish its IPPS for FY 2024 on Thursday.
  • About:  The IPPS, released annually, determines CMS payment to acute care hospitals for inpatient stays, factoring in the prices of goods and services used by hospitals (market basket) in treating Medicare patients and other factors.
  • Call to action:  Members of Pennsylvania's delegation are asking CMS to include a market basket update that meets hospital needs and refrains from any productivity cuts for FY 2024.
  • Key issues:  Hospitals are facing an array of challenges, including staffing shortages, increased costs for drugs and supplies, and other inflationary pressures. The costs of care have outpaced the payment hospitals receive from government and commercial payors.
  • Quotable:  “Understanding the headwinds they face, Pennsylvania hospitals are taking the lead in addressing many of these challenges but need support to be successful,” the letter notes.

HAP applauds members of the delegation for supporting Pennsylvania hospitals and for highlighting the challenges our health systems are facing. Signing the letter were Representatives Brian Fitzpatrick (R-1), Brendan F. Boyle (D-2), Dwight Evans (D-3), Mary Gay Scanlon (D-5), Susan Wild (D-7), Matt Cartwright (D-8), Daniel Meuser (R-9), Summer Lee (D-12), and Chris Deluzio (D-17).

HAP continues to advocate for the necessary support and resources to ensure our hospitals can remain anchors within their communities and will provide an update to members following the release of the IPPS.

The letter is available to review online. For more information, contact John Myers, HAP’s vice president, federal advocacy.