Hospital Group Urges Trump to Loosen Regulations, Increase Affordability and Value

A major hospitals association is urging President-elect Donald Trump not to repeal the Affordable Care Act without including a replacement to ease industry concerns.

Richard Pollack, the president and CEO of the American Hospital Association, says the administration shouldn’t make “any abrupt changes that could lead to significant instability for patients, providers, insurers and others.” The administration should re-examine payments to providers, which were reduced to fund coverage expansion, he added.

“Currently, there is much uncertainty about the future, given discussions of repealing and replacing the ACA,” he wrote in a letter sent Wednesday. “We urge you to ensure that any repeal of portions of the ACA simultaneously include a replacement plan that continues to provide a mechanism for individuals to obtain affordable insurance coverage.”

Pollack also said the administration should prioritize easing regulatory burdens on hospitals, including canceling Stage 3 of the meaningful use program so hospitals aren’t forced to upgrade their electronic health records systems. He urged revisions of the Stark Law to make it easier for hospitals and physicians to work together to provide care.

He encouraged the new administration to take steps to enhance the affordability and value of care, and to ensure access to care and coverage.

“The Affordable Care Act (ACA), while in need of reform, provided insurance coverage to more than 20 million previously uninsured individuals,” Pollack wrote, urging continued funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program, making it easier to access mental health care and to reject “site-neutral” payment cuts.

Morning Consult