The National Association of Urban Hospitals has endorsed a new bill to add risk adjustment to Medicare’s hospital readmissions reduction program.

The Establishing Beneficiary Equity in the Hospital Readmissions Reduction Act, sponsored in the Senate (S. 688) by senators Rob Portman (R-OH) and Joe Manchin (D-WV) and in the House (H.R. 1343) by representatives Jim Renacci (R-OH) and Eliot Engel (D-NY), would require Medicare to modify its hospital readmissions reduction program based on the socio-economic risk factors posed by the patients individual hospitals serve.

Congress ChamberEver since the program was introduced, NAUH has maintained that it fails to reflect the special challenges posed by the kinds of patients served in especially large numbers by urban safety-net hospitals and has been asking Medicare to add a risk adjustment component to the program’s methodology.  Over the past three years a number of studies have confirmed this bias, and the bipartisan measure now before Congress would compel Medicare to correct this problem.

See NAUH’s letter endorsing the bill here.