University of Utah Health Care Thanks Senator Hatch for His Support of the 21st Century Cures Act

University of Utah Health Care Thanks Senator Hatch for His Support of the 21st Century Cures Act

Jan 10, 2017 10:07 AM

University of Utah Health Care would like to thank Senator Orrin Hatch for his support of of the revised 21st Century Cures Act. We applaud Senator Hatch and other congressional leaders for clarifying that off campus hospital outpatient departments (HOPDs) that were “mid-build” before November 2, 2015 should continue to receive payment under the Medicare Outpatient Prospective Payment System (OPPS).

HOPDs such as our South Jordan and Farmington clinics are important facilities in our health care system. They serve as vital training grounds for our medical students and residents. They also allow us to provide care to our most vulnerable patients in a cost effective location, something that is critically important as we try to reduce costs and absorb other reimbursement cuts from government and commercial payers.

As it now stands, the site neutrality provisions of the Bi-Partisan Budget Act of 2015 will limit our ability to expand our health care services into more cost effective environments. However, because of these new exceptions shepherded by Senator Hatch, we are grateful that we can continue to care for patients in their communities and educate future medical professionals.

In addition to the HOPD revisions, we also applaud new changes to the Act that take socioeconomic disparities into consideration when determining reimbursement rates for hospital readmissions. This new provision will now take complex circumstances into consideration for hospitals that serve vulnerable populations.

UUHC also applauds the provisions in the 21st Century Cures Act that benefit health care and research, including boosting NIH funding by $4.8 billion over the next 10 years. We believe this will greatly benefit our mission to further scientific discovery, including the important research we do in the fields of genetics, precision medicine, and cancer research.

Again, we thank Senator Hatch for his foresight and support of this important initiative and we hope other members of Utah’s congressional delegation will see the value of supporting it as well.

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