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  • 06.28.17

    AMIC and NRHA Urge CMS to Oppose the Expansion of Site Neutral Payment Policies

    Washington, D.C. – The Access to Medical Imaging Coalition (AMIC) and the National Rural Health Association (NRHA) urge CMS to strongly oppose the expansion of “site neutral” payment policies aimed at reducing Medicare payments for services performed in certain hospital outpatient settings.

    “Expanding the site neutral policy will have a significant adverse impact on the ability of certain types of communities, particularly those that are rural or have seen negative economic impacts, to provide care to underserved patients,” said Tim Trysla, executive director of AMIC. “Site neutral payments represent a significant deviation from the longstanding principle that all hospital outpatient facilities—both on-campus and off-campus sites—should be reimbursed based on the costs of providing care.”

    The Calendar Year 2017 Outpatient Prospective Payment System (OPPS) Final Rule reduced Medicare reimbursement for all non-grandfathered off-campus hospital outpatient department (HOPD) facilities from the OPPS level by approximately 50 percent of the standard amount.  Further, the Final Rule suggests expanding this policy by lowering the payment rate down to that of the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (MPFS).

    “The NRHA estimates that hundreds of rural hospitals will close within six months of an expanded site neutral payment policy due to inadequate reimbursement rates,” said Brock Slabach, NRHA membership services senior vice president. “Expanding the site neutral policy will reduce access to valuable preventive services, including cancer screening and other diagnostic imaging, and will curb innovation and access to emerging technologies.”

    AMIC and NRHA look forward to continue working with policymakers to ensure patients to have access to critical services, regardless of care setting.

    AMIC’s members include more than 35,000 physicians, patient organizations, and medical imaging equipment manufacturers who have long stressed the importance of identifying policies that safeguard patient access to appropriate medical imaging services.


    The Access to Medical Imaging Coalition represents physicians, medical providers, and patient organizations throughout the U.S. It also includes health technology firms that manufacture imaging equipment and supplies and that employ tens of thousands of workers. Thus, AMIC represents those who develop medical imaging technologies, those who apply it, and those who benefit from it.

    The National Rural Health Association is a national nonprofit membership organization whose mission is to provide leadership on rural health issues through advocacy, communications, education and outreach. NRHA’s members include 21,000 diverse individuals and organizations who share a common bond and interest in rural health.

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