—The American Association of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) praises Rep. Jim Banks (R-IN) for introducing the Hospital Competition Act of 2019 (H.R.506
). The bill aims to combat the rising cost of health care by increasing choice among hospital providers and addresses several AAOS priorities including: lifting restrictions on physician-owned hospitals, discouraging hospital consolidation and certificate of need laws, expanding site neutral payments, and increasing price transparency (see policy details below).
“It’s not every day that a bill comes along which so closely mirrors not one, but several of our legislative and regulatory goals,” said AAOS President David A. Halsey, MD. “That’s why we strongly support the Hospital Competition Act and praise Rep. Banks for tackling these critical changes to America’s health care system.”
AAOS has long advocated for many of these initiatives at both the state and federal level on behalf of its members and their patients. It also released this statement
in response to the recent Health and Human Services-led report
, which outlines similar solutions for increasing choice and competition in health care.
“The Administration report and Rep. Banks’ bill demonstrate lawmakers’ awareness of the ongoing issue and dedication to moving our current system in a positive direction,” said Dr. Halsey. “We are encouraged by their commitment and urge others to support this legislation to ensure we’re meeting the mutual goal of delivering affordable, high quality care for our patients.”
The Hospital Competition Act of 2019 would:
• Lift restrictions on physician-owned hospitals by repealing the ban on their construction;
• Discourage hospital consolidation by reducing the incentive for mergers, authorizing a 400 percent increase in Federal Trade Commission staff that would be solely dedicated to ensuring that mergers do not increase costs for patients, and providing grants to states that take specific actions to improve hospital competition and do not have any willing provider or certificate of need laws;
• Expand site neutral payments by reducing the cost of outpatient care and reimbursing hospital outpatient departments at the same rate as independent physician services;
• Increase price transparency by requiring hospitals to publish the cost of their 100 most common services.