New York Times Publishes GNYHA Letter Defending Medicare Payments for Hospital-Based Outpatient Services

March 28, 2019

The New York Times has published a letter submitted in response to a March 26 editorial that supported President Trump’s proposal to cut the “bonus payment” hospitals receive for outpatient services.

Here is the letter:

To the Editor:

You call for slashing the “bonus payment” that hospitals receive for the outpatient services they provide.

Hospital-based outpatient services are reimbursed at a higher rate than physician offices because of the vast overhead costs associated with hospitals staying open 24/7 and never turning away patients.

Given those major cost drivers, the notion that the level of reimbursement for hospital-based outpatient services constitutes an unnecessary bonus payment is befuddling.

Many financially struggling inner-city and rural hospitals can barely sustain their outpatient services right now. Cutting their Medicare reimbursement for those essential services will severely compromise access to care for the vulnerable communities they serve, many of which have no other outpatient health care options.

Kenneth E. Raske
New York
The writer is president of the Greater New York Hospital Association.

The letter has been posted to the Times website and is scheduled to run in tomorrow’s print edition.