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5 Bills, 1 Month: AHA Urges Outreach to Legislators Out on Recess

Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media, August 12, 2013

The American Hospital Association wants acute care organizations to invite members of Congress into their hospitals during the August recess. The group is seeking co-sponsors on five bills.

Federal lawmakers packed up and left town last week for the start of the traditional August recess. The month-long break was mandated 43 years ago because the Capitol dome could not protect lawmakers from the worst of Washington's infernal summer climate.

This year, the American Hospital Association is urging acute care organizations to seize the opportunity of the visit their representatives in Congress and invite these elected officials into their local hospitals for a visit. That way, lawmakers can see the organizations' progress, and presumably their operational problems, first hand.

"Let them see your quality improvements, work to reduce readmissions, investments in health information technology, new community collaborations to improve population health and partnerships with providers to better coordinate care," AHA president and CEO Rich Umbdenstock urged in a newsletter to members.

"Tell them how further reductions to Medicare and Medicaid payments would affect your ability to provide care to your patients and community."

Umbdenstock urged hospital leaders: "Don't stop there. Let your staff explain the burden that recovery audit contractors are placing on your hospital's resources."

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