Greater Westfield Chamber of Commerce

THE AHA AND THE MASSACHUSETTS HOSPITAL ASSOCATION PRESENT CONGRESSMAN RICHARD NEAL WITH THE HEALTH CARE CHAMPION AWARD

The American Hospital Association (AHA) and the Massachusetts Hospital Association (MHA)  today presented Representative Richard Neal (D-MA) the Health Care Champion Award for his outstanding contributions to health care public policy.

“This award recognizes Rep. Neal for his leadership on critical issues for hospitals and the patients they serve,” said Rich Umbdenstock, AHA’s president and CEO. “He is very cognizant of the key role that hospitals play in their communities, particularly the unique role that teaching hospitals serve in educating and training the nation’s future physicians.”

Rep. Neal has repeatedly led efforts in the House to scale back large proposed cuts to Medicare and Medicaid programs, which are important to ensuring that patients have access to vital hospital services.  He is currently working to continue the important Medicare Dependent Hospital program, vital for rural hospitals.  He has worked to ensure that all hospitals in his district, including rural, rehabilitation, teaching and community hospitals, have the resources they need to care for all patients. Rep. Neal led the House effort to eliminate a provision in the ACA that created a commission empowered to establish reimbursement rates for the Medicare program.

The award was presented at the Springfield courthouse; hospitals present include: Baystate Medical Center, Mercy Hospital, Holyoke Hospital, Noble Hospital, Berkshire Medical Center, Fairview Hospital, Wing Memorial Hospital, Harrington Memorial Hospital and Cooley Dickinson Hospital.

“Rep. Neal is very ‘hands-on’ in his support for hospitals,” said MHA President & CEO Lynn Nicholas. “He makes sure our hospitals’ positions and concerns receive the attention they need and deserve in Congress. Rep. Neal took a leading role to help defeat a proposal to cut hospital evaluation and management payments, which would have reduced already inadequate hospital reimbursements by more than 71 percent for 10 of the most common outpatient procedures. His advocacy on this issue alone saved Massachusetts hospitals nearly $658 million over 10 years. His staff, including the extremely talented Ann Jablon, is also superb.”

Representative Neal is a member of the House Committee on Ways and Means.

About the AHA

The AHA is a not-for-profit association of health care provider organizations and individuals that are committed to the improvement of health in their communities.  The AHA is the national advocate for its members, which include almost 5,000 hospitals, health care systems, networks and other providers of care and 42,000 individual members.  Founded in 1898, the AHA provides education for health care leaders and is a source of information on health care issues and trends.  For more information visit the Web site at www.aha.org.

About the MHA

The Massachusetts Hospital Association (MHA) is a voluntary, not-for-profit organization comprised of hospitals and health systems, related organizations, and other members with a common interest in promoting the good health of the people of the Commonwealth. Through leadership in public advocacy, education, and information, MHA represents and advocates for the collective interests of its members and supports their efforts to provide high quality, cost effective and accessible care.

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