Hospital Groups Launch National Ad Campaign Against Payment Cuts
On Monday, a coalition of U.S. hospital groups launched a national print, radio and TV advertising campaign against Medicare and Medicaid funding cuts, CQ HealthBeat reports.
The campaign comes as lawmakers negotiate a deficit reduction deal that could include deep cuts to Medicaid and Medicare.
In response, the Coalition to Protect America's Health Care is warning lawmakers that additional hospital funding cuts would adversely affect care for children, seniors, the poor and the disabled.
The coalition includes:
- The American Hospital Association;
- The Association of American Medical Colleges;
- The Catholic Health Association;
- The Federation of American Hospitals;
- The National Association of Public Hospitals and Health Systems; and
- Other health care alliances (Norman, CQ HealthBeat, 6/27).
The campaign -- which will run on national cable stations, in key broadcast markets and in newspapers widely distributed on Capitol Hill -- urges decision makers not to "hurt the ones you love" (AHA News, 6/27). Â
Although hospitals have agreed to payment reductions included in the federal health reform law, they note that they already provide $40 billion in uncompensated care each year and cannot afford further cuts. The ads warn that more cuts would overload emergency departments, force trauma units to close and limit patient access to new treatments (CQ HealthBeat, 6/27).
According to Thomas Zenty -- CEO of University Hospitals of Cleveland and chair of the coalition -- the campaign is intended to "remind lawmakers that hospitals need adequate resources in order to provide superior care to everyone who relies on us for care." AAMC President and CEO Darrell Kirch said that the cuts would "have a devastating impact on the ability of [teaching hospitals] to train the medical professionals that care for communities" (Pecquet, "Healthwatch," The Hill, 6/27).
Although the coalition claims that the campaign does not target specific congressional districts, ads already are scheduled to run in many key markets, such as Portland-Auburn, Maine, the home state of Republican Sens. Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe, and Nevada, the home state of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D).
The ad campaign will cost about $1 million per week, according to an AHA official.
A coalition spokesperson declined to specify the campaign's duration but said hospitals want to ensure they have "representation in different parts of the country" (CQ HealthBeat, 6/27).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.