Under President Obama’s budget plan, Medicare and Medicaid spending would be slashed by up to $295 billion over the next 10 years, the Congressional Budget Office has estimated.

The savings from the programs would go toward filling the healthcare reform reserve fund. President Obama hopes to sock away $606 billion over the next 10 years for the fund, according to his FY 2010 plan. The biggest savings would come from a proposed competitive bidding program for durable medical equipment under the Medicare Advantage program, according to the CBO report.

The president also based many of his proposed cuts on recent Medicare Payment Advisory Commission suggestions, which would cut reimbursements for home health services and freeze skilled nursing facility payment rates. Regarding other potential savings, CBO projects that Medicare and Medicaid spending will shrink due to the recession. (Lower rates of inflation could lower Medicare and Medicaid payment rates.)

A webinar at the free McKnight’s Online Expo this Wednesday and Thursday will address current Medicare and Medicaid issues of interest to long-term care providers. Joy Morrow, Ph.D., senior clinical consultant with Hansen, Hunter & Company, and Peter Gruhn, director of research for the American Health Care Association, will be conducting the session, “Medicare, Medicaid and the year ahead,” on Thursday at 1 p.m. EST.

Four other webcasts will be broadcast during the two-day event. A Resource Center also will showcase 17 vendor booths. Register for the event free online at www.mcknights.com/expo.