Ohio hospitals pressure Boehner for fix in budget deal

Ohio hospitals pressure Boehner for fix in budget deal
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The Ohio Hospital Association (OHA) is lobbying Speaker John BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerLobbyists race to cash in on cannabis boom Rising star Ratcliffe faces battle to become Trump's intel chief This little engine delivers results for DC children MORE (R-Ohio) and other members of the state’s delegation to end a “sweetheart deal” for certain hospitals in the budget agreement. 

The OHA, as well as hospital groups in other states, are calling for the inclusion of a fix to what is known as the “Bay State Boondoggle,” an aspect of Medicare’s hospital payment system that ends up giving more to Massachusetts hospitals at the expense of those in other states. 

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“A coalition of states (including Ohio) that have been negatively affected by the sweetheart deal is working once again this week to get a legislative fix included in the pending budget deal,” OHA director of public affairs Jonathan Archey wrote in an email to Ohio hospitals Tuesday. “For its part, OHA is in the process of lobbying Speaker BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerLobbyists race to cash in on cannabis boom Rising star Ratcliffe faces battle to become Trump's intel chief This little engine delivers results for DC children MORE and the other members of Ohio’s congressional delegation for inclusion of the fix.”

Hospitals in other states have for years been pushing for a fix on the issue, and the budget deal this week is the latest vehicle to which they are trying to attach it. 

The provision in question was added as part of ObamaCare and concerns a rule stating that a state’s urban hospitals must be reimbursed for wages at least as much as its rural hospitals. Massachusetts is the largest beneficiary because its rural hospital on Nantucket drives up the reimbursement rates for the other hospitals in the state. 

There have been bills introduced to fix the issue, including one from Rep. Kevin BradyKevin Patrick BradyRepublicans' rendezvous with reality — their plan is to cut Social Security The Social Security 2100 Act is critical for millennials and small business owners House panel releases documents of presidential tax return request before Trump MORE (R-Texas) introduced in March. 

Separately, while hospital groups said Tuesday morning that they are still looking over the deal, they are expected to object to one of the offsets used to pay for the agreement. 

That provision deals with the issue of hospitals acquiring doctors’ offices and then getting paid more under Medicare by classifying them as “outpatient hospital departments.” The change in the budget deal would limit future payments by preventing facilities acquired in the future from upgrading to the higher payment status.