FreedomWorks Foundation Submits Comments Supporting Outpatient Flexibility

FreedomWorks Foundation’s Regulatory Action Center (RAC) submitted comments to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) regarding regulatory changes for outpatient facilities. This proposal would grant more flexibility to physicians and patients to seek care at lower costs. It also repeals regulations unnecessarily implemented by Obamacare.

The full comment can be found here, in the attachment at the bottom of this post, or excerpted below:

The changes included in this rule change will – as the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) noted in its fact sheet – increase choice and lower out-of-pocket costs for patients. These are some changes that are long overdue and will also save the Medicare program crucial dollars. More importantly, these savings will be passed on to American taxpayers. Thus, we write today in support of the proposed changes.

This proposal would accomplish the above goals by moving over 1,700 procedures from inpatient settings to outpatient centers. It would also completely phase out the list of procedures that must be completed “inpatient only” (IPO) by the end of 2024. This grants much-needed flexibility to both doctors and patients to decide what is most efficient and safe for them.

In the healthcare sphere, inpatient settings are of highest cost to patients and to the Medicare system. This rule, in shifting these many procedures to a lower cost setting – like outpatient centers – and eliminating the IPO list, physicians have increased ability to determine whether their patients need to be hospitalized for a given procedure or malady. On the other side of the equation, patients now have added flexibility to determine which outpatient centers might be best for them and are saved from the unnecessary burden of hospitalization where it may not be necessary.

At this point, the free market can work in a way it simply has not been able to in much of the healthcare space. Patients can price shop and find the most innovative outpatient facility or the one that is best able to tailor to them. This creates incentives that have only existed in very limited ways in the healthcare industry. The potential here can and will go far beyond the scope of the rule at hand today.

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