In fight over Medicare payments, the hospital lobby shows its strength

Hospitals are fighting to maintain higher Medicare payments for their services, including at hospital-owned physician practices. This unequal arrangement is seen as driving up costs for patients and taxpayers and incentivizing hospital consolidation. The House passed a bill that included a provision for site-neutral payment for medical infusions, which would save Medicare an estimated $3.7 billion over a decade. However, hospitals argue that this would lead to job cuts and facility closures, particularly in rural areas. The issue doesn’t break cleanly along partisan lines, with senators expressing concerns about maintaining funding for rural hospitals and prioritizing access to hospital care for patients.

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