The American Hospital Association, the Association of American Medical Colleges, Catholic Health Association of the United States, Federation of American Hospitals, and National Association of Public Hospitals and Health Systems on May 27 urged Congress to remove Section 525 from the American Jobs and Closing Tax Loopholes Act (H.R. 4213). The provision would change the so-called Medicare "72 Hour Rule" to prohibit hospitals from retrospectively billing to unbundle payments for therapeutic services performed within 72 hours of a hospital admission if they were unrelated to that admission.
"In their review process, Recovery Audit Contractors informed hospitals that these payments were in fact available to them," and this message was reinforced by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services at its March 4 Hospital Open Door Forum, the groups said in a letter to members of Congress. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that the provision would save more than $4 billion in reduced payments to hospitals.
On top of hospital reductions of $155 billion included in the health reform law and an additional reduction of $3.7 billion being proposed by CMS for FY 2011, the groups said "we believe such additional savings from hospitals are unfair and unwarranted."