New NAUH Study Evokes Positive Response
The National Association of Urban Hospitals’ recently released study on the potential job loss associated with implementation of the Affordable Care Act and other Medicare cuts currently under consideration by Congress has produced a steady stream of calls to the NAUH office seeking additional information and comment.
Last week NAUH released a new analysis, “Future Medicare Cuts and Hospital Job Losses,” that showed that Medicare cuts mandated by the Affordable Care Act could cost hospitals as many as 87,000 direct jobs and additional cuts currently under consideration by the congressional Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction could cost another 46,000 direct hospital jobs in the coming years.
Cuts mandated under the Affordable Care Act are a massive reduction in qualified hospitals’ Medicare disproportionate share hospital payments (Medicare DSH) and reductions in hospitals’ annual cost-of-living increases. The congressional “supercommittee” is widely thought to be considering eliminating Medicare bad debt reimbursement and significantly reducing Medicare indirect medical education (IME) payments – payments made to teaching hospitals that train the next generation of physicians.
Among those who have contacted NAUH are congressional staff; urban hospital and health system officials; reporters from large urban daily newspapers; and reporters from the health care trade press. Their inquiries have focused on how the study was conducted and how many jobs individual cities, congressional districts, and states might lose if all of the contemplated cuts are implemented. Congressional staff sought specific citations from the Affordable Care Act and information about potential job losses in their district and conveyed their appreciation that the job loss projections were for direct hospital jobs and not for indirect jobs, which are considered much more difficult to predict with any meaningful accuracy.
The study, “Future Medicare Cuts and Hospital Job Losses,” can be found here, on the NAUH web site.