Noteworthy News

Medicare Cuts May be Part of Budget Deal

The agreement between the White House and congressional negotiators on a two-year budget deal and an increase in the federal debt ceiling will be paid for in part with reductions in Medicare payments.

US Capitol DomeUnder the reported agreement, negotiators agreed to increase federal spending $80 billion over two years, and that increase will almost certainly need to be offset by spending cuts. The New York Times has reported that “The Medicare savings would come from cuts in payments to doctors and other health care providers.”

The budget agreement reportedly did not include specific spending cuts beyond extension of the current two percent Medicare sequestration cuts, although the publication The Hill reports that site-neutral Medicare outpatient payments may be part of the agreement; the additional cuts will need to be negotiated within Congress.

The National Association of Urban Hospitals has long opposed the introduction of site-neutral Medicare outpatient payments and wrote this week to members of Congress urging them not to reduce Medicare payments to hospitals to offset budget agreement spending increases.

To learn more about the budget agreement and its possible implications for health care providers, see this New York Times article and this report from The Hill.

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