Monday, December 23, 2013

MINUTE RANT: On the temporary fix addressed by the senate budget deal

Last week, the U.S. Senate passed a two-year budget agreement addressing spending cuts and reducing the likelihood of a government shutdown.

What does this mean for healthcare? MHA Today shared the following overview:

By a margin of 64-36, the U.S. Senate has passed a negotiated budget agreement that was approved by the U.S. House of Representatives last week. The three-month “doc fix” in the agreement includes a 0.5 percent increase in Medicare physician payment rates through March 31, 2014.This extension was to allow the House and Senate more time to complete a comprehensive overhaul of the sustainable growth rate formula. Other provisions include extensions of the Medicare low volume and dependent hospital payment programs through March 31, 2014, and extending Medicare sequestration payment adjustments for an additional two years. The agreement also includes eliminating federal fiscal year 2014 Medicaid DSH cuts and shifting the 2015 cuts into fiscal year 2016. Medicaid DSH cuts will now be extended another year to 2023.

The devil is always in the details... except when he is openly attacking with pitchfork in hand.

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