Certain provisions in HB 1004 will limit access to health care services and result in a windfall for big insurance companies
INDIANAPOLIS — Hospitals across Indiana will rally at the Statehouse Monday, March 2 urging the Senate to reject language in House Bill 1004 that will devastate urban and rural hospitals. The bill, HB 1004, passed the Senate Health and Provider Services Committee and contains provisions that would drastically cut reimbursement to hospitals for services and procedures that are provided in hospital outpatient departments and at off-site locations.
The amended bill would override private contracts between hospitals and insurance companies and would force hospitals to bill insurance companies at rates that would not cover the cost of technology, equipment, and other facility-based elements necessary to provide high quality care. This would result in a windfall for big insurance companies. The change also would result in increased costs and administrative burden for hospitals.
“These services, including cancer treatment and women's care centers, are held to the same high standards as if they were provided in the four walls of a hospital and are subject to the same regulations," said IHA President Brian Tabor. “Just like a hospital, these facilities offer the same expert clinical staff and the latest life-saving technology," he added.
In many cases, these services are located off-site because the hospital was built many years ago and cannot accommodate new, state-of-the-art technology. In other cases, services are strategically located outside the hospital to provide better access for patients, treating them closer to home or in underserved areas.
If the cuts take effect, the consequences will be real and immediate for rural and urban facilities alike. “Hospitals will be forced to discontinue services and reduce staff, making it harder for Hoosiers to access the services that they need. Some financially fragile hospitals may be forced to close their doors or consolidate in order to remain viable," Tabor said.
Tabor emphasized that Indiana hospitals support transparency, noting the IHA supported previous legislative language contained in HB 1005, which passed the House Public Health Committee earlier this session. This approach established full transparency for insurers and businesses about exactly where every medical procedure is performed. IHA supports returning to this approach in HB 1005.
# ABOUT INDIANA HOSPITAL ASSOCIATION
The Indiana Hospital Association serves as the professional trade association for more than 170 acute care, critical access, behavioral health, and other specialized hospitals in Indiana. IHA advocates on behalf of its members in Indiana's General Assembly, U.S. Congress, and with multiple regulatory agencies at the state and federal levels. Dedicated to improving quality, patient safety, and Hoosiers' health status, IHA holds numerous grants and facilitates collaboration among hospitals to improve outcomes. IHA also provides members with the data analytics that they need to ensure access to quality, cost-effective health care services across the state of Indiana. To learn more about IHA, visit IHAconnect.org.