San Francisco Marin Medical Society Blog

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Sequestration Means 2% Medicare Cut to Health Care Providers Effective 4/1

Across-the-board federal budget cuts were triggered on March 1 because Congress failed to come to an agreement on how to reduce the federal deficit. Although it is still possible that Congress will reach some sort of a compromise before most of the cuts take effect on April 1, physicians should prepare for a 2% reduction in reimbursement from the Medicare program beginning in April.

California Heavily Affected by Looming Sequester Cuts

The White House detailed how California and other states would be affected if a deal is not reached by March 1, 2013 to avoid automatic cuts under sequestration. The automatic cuts involve nearly $1 trillion in across-the-board reductions over a decade, including a 2% reduction to Medicare reimbursement rates.

Bowles, Simpson Unveil Deficit-Reduction Plan Includes Hefty Cuts for Health Care

Erskine Bowles and former Sen. Alan Simpson (R-Wyo.) unveiled a $2.4 trillion deficit-reduction proposal, which includes $600 billion in Medicare and Medicaid savings by decreasing provider payments, raising premiums for higher-income beneficiaries, reducing prescription drug costs, and making “adjustments to account for an aging population.”

Congress Stops Medicare Cuts for One Year as Part of Fiscal Cliff Legislation

Congress on January 1 passed HR 8, the American Taxpayer Relief Act, narrowly averting the so-called "fiscal cliff." The bill includes a one-year Medicare fee-for-service physician payment freeze, meaning the 26.5 percent sustainable growth rate (SGR) cut has been averted, for now. The 2 percent sequestration cuts have also been deferred for two months.