AAMC Statement on Medicare Outpatient Payment Cuts

AAMC (Association of American Medical Colleges) President and CEO Darrell G. Kirch, MD, issued the following statement regarding provisions in the CY 2019 Outpatient Prospective Payment System (OPPS) proposed rule:

“Inexplicably, the administration has decided to double down on its flawed policy by extending harmful cuts to safety-net hospitals, many of which are teaching hospitals, that participate in the 340B Drug Pricing Program. This proposal flies in the face of bipartisan legislation, introduced by Reps. David McKinley (R-W. Va.) and Mike Thompson (D-Calif.) and with nearly 200 cosponsors, which would rescind the cuts the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) began imposing on Jan. 1 as part of the CY2018 OPPS final rule.

In addition, CMS’ proposal to cut Medicare payments to existing outpatient departments for clinic services runs counter to congressional intent and would seriously damage the ability of the nation’s teaching hospitals to serve the most complex and vulnerable patients.

CMS should rescind the 340B policy and not finalize the cuts to off-campus outpatient department clinic visits. Otherwise, these misguided and unjustifiable policies will harm teaching hospitals and the patients and communities they serve."

The Association of American Medical Colleges is a not-for-profit association dedicated to transforming health care through innovative medical education, cutting-edge patient care, and groundbreaking medical research. Its members are all 154 accredited U.S. and 17 accredited Canadian medical schools; nearly 400 major teaching hospitals and health systems, including 51 Department of Veterans Affairs medical centers; and more than 80 academic societies. Through these institutions and organizations, the AAMC serves the leaders of America’s medical schools and teaching hospitals and their more than 173,000 full-time faculty members, 89,000 medical students, 129,000 resident physicians, and more than 60,000 graduate students and postdoctoral researchers in the biomedical sciences.