The Obama Administration has one month to issue a report detailing whether Medicare providers will see 2% across-the-board cuts based on legislation signed by the president Tuesday.
If you're like most operators, you're probably staggering toward the end-of-year holidays. And your unsteady gait may have nothing to do with spiked eggnog.
Many long-term care providers feel they earned at least a moral victory late last month when the president's so-called debt-reduction "super committee" could not agree on recommendations. That meant nothing worse than automatic 2% across-the-board cuts could be imposed. Now, there may be a reprieve on the horizon from even the 2% cuts.
LeadingAge President and CEO Larry Minnix openly acknowledged Wednesday afternoon that the next two years could be tense and difficult for long-term care providers. He was just one of a handful of experts painting a grave outlook.
Nursing homes will be impacted less than hospitals and physicians if the automatic cuts to Medicare providers are implemented, a new report finds. The 2% across-the-board Medicare cuts are scheduled as a result of the failure of the Congressional "super committee" to reach a deal.
Members of the congressional "super-committee" announced Monday that the panel has failed to devise a deficit reduction plan ahead of its Wednesday deadline, drawing sharp criticism from provider groups. The 12-member, bipartisan committee was tasked with finding a way to trim $1.2 trillion from the federal budget deficit over 10 years by a Nov. 23 deadline.
Providers, and the rest of the country, will learn Wednesday whether President Obama's congressional "super committee" has agreed on a combination of funding cuts and tax increases that total $1.2 trillion. Technically called the President's National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility, it has been extremely tight-lipped about its work of several months. If the bipartisan mix of Senate and House members can't agree on recommendations, automatic 2% funding cuts will begin in 2013. Fearful that any alternative could be worse, many providers are hoping for the 2% across-the-board cuts, and some have already factored them into future planning.
According to The Alliance for Quality Nursing Home Care, the ACA tackles the issue of costly hospital readmissions by focusing on hospitals, but ignores skilled nursing facilities. The Alliance has therefore proposed an interim solution based on proposals the Obama administration has offered the "super committee."
At a forum last week, a former Health and Human Services official said that cutting Medicaid during an economic downturn is unwise. According to published reports, Tim Westmoreland compared Medicaid cuts to the trimming of FEMA outlays during an earthquake.
Senate Finance Committee Republicans have submitted a deficit-reduction proposal to the super committee calling for a repeal of the Affordable Care Act and significant changes to Medicare and Medicaid.
If the congressional "super committee" fails to reach its deficit reduction goal, automatic Medicare cuts would save the government more than $120 billion over the next decade, according to a report.
The 2% across-the-board Medicare cuts that would be triggered by a deficit-reduction committee failure to agree on an acceptable budget are preferable to the likely alternatives, a leading healthcare advisor has suggested.