Public Announcements

 

AAHAM Supports Hospitals Call to Delay Price Transparency Rules

Fairfax, VA- The American Association of Healthcare Administrative Management (AAHAM), the leading professional association focused exclusively on the healthcare revenue cycle voiced its support for the 34 hospital organizations from around the country, urging the Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) to delay the implementation of its price transparency rules set to take effect January 1, 2021.

Since April, when AAHAM started to see the direct impacts on our hospital partners, our Government Relations Committee met to develop a solution and strategy that continues to support the idea of price transparency, but offers hospitals a realistic timetable to implement these rules. Although AAHAM’s request to both HHS and Congress is slightly different, AAHAM is in support of the position taken by the American Hospital Association and their state chapters.

The financial losses hospitals are experiencing is real. It is estimated that hospitals are losing $50 billion a month during this pandemic. This is not sustainable. AAHAM has appreciated the financial help being provided by Congress, but this is not reaching every hospital or every sector of the healthcare system. With growing monthly budget shortfalls, our hospitals cannot keep pace with the needs of their patients and the regulatory framework being required of them. Our hospitals continue to see more and more of their critical employees, responsible for implementing these types of rules, being let go due to lost revenue. Yet these are the very employees that are needed to implement these complex regulations.

AAHAM is concerned that implementing these rules on January 1, 2021, only to possibly have them overturned in the courts, is going to set our hospitals back even further. Thousands of hospital staff across the U.S. have been furloughed due to lost revenue. Hospitals have been unable to perform services they normally provide due to COVID-19. This includes elective surgeries, clinic visits and other non-emergent, non-COVID related services. Although states are beginning to reopen and these services are going forward in some areas, there is now a backlog of patients waiting to get appointments, which have been cancelled and rescheduled for the last three months. Some people are still going to refrain from having elective procedures until there is a vaccine and the “curve” has bent in a positive way.

These are points AAHAM made to HHS, CMS, and Congress in letters sent on June 1, 2020. We continue to support putting a 24 month moratorium on the implementation of these rules until hospitals can effectively deal with this global pandemic. Now is not the time to be saddling hospitals with onerous regulations when it’s all hands on deck for hospital personnel. Now is not the time to implement complex rules when hospitals continue to furlough essential hospital staff.

AAHAM will continue to work with HHS, CMS, and Congress on a solution that addresses all the issues at stake in this debate. Thank you to AHA and its state chapters for their letter and support of delaying these regulations.