Concierge Medicine Today

Healthcare braces for sequester

The Hill , February 25, 2013

Every corner of the healthcare world has something—and potentially a lot ? to lose from the $85 billion in automatic spending cuts set to hit the government on March 1. Doctors and hospitals say the sequester’s Medicare cuts will cost their industries more than 200,000 jobs just this year. With the cuts looking increasingly inevitable, healthcare industries that have spent the past year lobbying Congress to cancel the sequester are now turning their attention toward absorbing its cuts.

Every corner of the healthcare world has something — and potentially a lot — to lose from the $85 billion in automatic spending cuts set to hit the government on March 1.

Doctors and hospitals say the sequester’s Medicare cuts will cost their industries more than 200,000 jobs just this year.

A reduction in food inspections could lead to more food-borne illnesses, the White House has warned.

And advocates for medical research say their work could be set back a generation.With the cuts looking increasingly inevitable, healthcare industries that have spent the past year lobbying Congress to cancel the sequester are now turning their attention toward absorbing its cuts.

“It’s one in a long series of indignities hat they have suffered, and it just accumulates,” said Dan Mendelson, founder and CEO of the consulting firm Avalere Health. “I think most providers are at this point girding themselves by trying to reduce costs.”

While Medicaid and the State Children’s Health Insurance Program are exempt from the talks, most other health programs will be affected.

The sequester includes a 2 percent cut to Medicare, as well as much larger cuts to federal healthcare agencies. The Medicare cut is big — $11 billion just this year, according to the White House budget office — but the agency cuts are more unpredictable.

The Food and Drug Administration, for example, would have to absorb an 8 percent cut this year. Most of its expenses are people, not programs, so employees would have to be laid off or furloughed. Those losses could cause delays in the approval of new drugs and medical devices.

“The FDA is having enough trouble retaining their good people,” Mendelson said. “I would expect approval times to suffer as a result.”

Read more: http://thehill.com/blogs/healthwatch/health-reform-implementation/284487-health-world-braces-for-sequester#ixzz2M89KrzQS

Source: The Hill

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: