Fiscal crisis, thoughts of sequestration cause provider angst

Published on December 1, 2012 at 3:15 AM · No Comments

If the "fiscal cliff's" scheduled cuts take effect, physicians will face a 2 percent reduction in Medicare reimbursements. Separately, however, they also are confronting a 27 percent pay cut as a result of the failure to fix the Medicare physician payment formula.

Politico: Providers: Doctors Face 'Worse' Fiscal Cliff
As the nation hurtles toward the fiscal cliff, doctors are staring down a much more daunting abyss, a panel of experts said Thursday at Politico Pro's health care breakfast briefing. Not only do doctors face a 2 percent cut in Medicare reimbursements because of the failure -- thus far -- to avoid sequestration, but they're also looking at a 27 percent reduction in pay in the absence of a deal to fix the Medicare payment formula (Cheney, 11/29).

Modern Healthcare: Fiscal Cliff For-Profit Providers: Fitch
For-profit providers face the greatest risk from slashed spending and tax hikes known as the fiscal cliff, one major credit rating agency said in a newly released outlook for the health care industry. For-profit providers could see lost revenue under a scheduled 2 percent Medicare pay cut and a slump in business "should elements of the fiscal cliff reduce economic activity and increase unemployment," Fitch Ratings said in its 2013 outlook for for-profit health care, which includes acute-care hospital operators, drug and device manufacturers, diagnostic and life science companies and the health care service sector. Overall, the weak economy and fiscal cliff will drag on health care growth despite an aging population, the chronically ill and demand from emerging markets, the report said. The sector's outlook is stable, Fitch said (Evans, 11/29).

Modern Healthcare: AHA Warns On Impact Of Rate Cuts For Hospital-Based Docs
Congress is focused on using a $7 billion reduction in Medicare evaluation and management payments for hospitals as a way to help pay for delaying a looming physician pay cut, according to hospital officials and advocates. The long-discussed reduction in evaluation and management rates for hospital-based clinicians to the level paid to office-based physicians has gained traction with members of Congress as a way to help offset the estimated $25.2 billion cost of a one-year patch for the sustainable growth-rate formula. …The country's largest hospital group brought about 150 executives to Capitol Hill on Thursday to warn lawmakers about the impact on hospitals of the proposed evaluation and management cuts, among other cuts (Daly, 11/29).

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