Letter to Senators Asking for Support of Senate Readmission Bill
June 24, 2014
The Honorable [Robert P. Casey, Jr.] [Pat Toomey]
[393 Russell Senate Office Building] [248 Russell Senate Office Building]
Washington, D.C. 20510
Dear Senator [Casey] [Toomey],
On behalf of The Hospital & Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania
(HAP), which represents approximately 240 member institutions, including 125
stand-alone hospitals and another 120 hospitals that comprise 32 health systems
across the state, I urge you to cosponsor S.
2501, the Hospital Readmission Program Accuracy and Accountability Act of 2014
in order to support hospitals serving vulnerable patients by accounting for
socioeconomic factors in the Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program (HRRP).
The Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program (HRRP) places a proper focus
on addressing preventable hospital readmissions. Pennsylvania hospitals are
fully committed to eliminating preventable hospital readmissions and in turn,
improving quality of care and reducing health care costs.
Under the HRRP hospitals are
penalized for readmissions that exceed the national average. Readmission performance
is calculated through a risk-adjusted 30-day measure that adjusts for clinical
factors. The current program does not sufficiently reflect the link between
high readmission rates and socioeconomic factors that play a significant role
in the health of a patient after discharge. This is leading to
diminished resources for those serving the neediest communities and most
Importantly, S. 2501 would require the Centers for Medicare &
Medicaid Services (CMS) to adjust for socioeconomic factors when determining
penalties under HRRP.
Pennsylvania hospitals and
health systems have been recognized as national leaders in quality and safety. Hospitals participating in the Pennsylvania Hospital Engagement Network
(PA-HEN) are demonstrating success with reducing readmission rates and
improving care transitions. PA-HEN hospitals have achieved a collective 28
percent reduction in 30-day all-cause, all-payer readmissions from their 2011
Pennsylvania hospitals will continue making strides in reducing
readmission rates; however, adjustment of the Hospital Readmissions Reduction
Program is important in helping to ensure hospitals serving vulnerable patients are not
unfairly penalized for readmissions outside their control.
Thank you for your
consideration of this important legislation.
President and Chief