Fiscal cliff deal means funding cuts for hospitalsSubmitted by emalvini on Thu, 01/03/2013 - 00:38
Fiscal cliff deal means funding cuts for hospitals
By Tom Kisken
Published Wednesday, January 2, 2013
Hospitals will lose federal funding as a result of the fiscal cliff deal that averted a 27 percent cut in Medicare reimbursements to doctors, according to health care officials.
"We do know it's going to hit us and we're not happy about that," said Jim Lott, executive vice president of the Hospital Association of Southern California. "They cut Peter to pay Paul."
The fiscal cliff agreement, approved by Congress over the New Year's holiday, staves off middle class tax hikes and spending cuts. It also provided another one-year bandage to Medicare pay cuts born from a 1997 law and dealt with annually in temporary solutions.
The so-called "doc fix" in the deal this week is funded partly by cuts to hospitals that include $10.5 billion over 10 years from projected payments for procedures where Medicare officials contend hospitals have been overpaid in the past. Also, cuts in federal money to hospitals that care largely for patients covered by Medicaid or are uninsured will be extended an additional year, meaning a cut of about $4 billion nationwide in 2022