CRANSTON – With the Nov. 23 deadline approaching for the Congressional Super Committee to reach agreement on plans to cut the federal deficit by $1.2 trillion, the Hospital Association of Rhode Island conducted an analysis of options that the Super Committee may be considering – and the consequences for Rhode Island hospitals.
In its latest “Tracking Trends” publication, HARI said that the projected cuts now under consideration could add up to about $614.2 in cuts over the next decade for hospitals in Rhode Island.
Cuts of $69 to $104 million by phasing down or phasing out bad debt payments.
Cuts in indirect medical education funds between $65 and $391 million, depending on how severe the percentage of reductions.
Cuts in direct graduate medical education reimbursement of $75 million.
Cuts of $18 million as a result of an eight-year freeze in post-acute care rehabilitation “market basket” updates.
A more draconian form of cuts will result if the Super Committee fails to achieve the targeted savings amount – or should Congress fail to pass and the president sign its recommendations by Dec. 23. This will trigger across the board cuts in federal spending, including up to a 2 percent reduction on total Medicare payments to go into effect in 2013 and run through 2021. This would result in $122 million in reduced payments to hospitals in Rhode Island, according to HARI.
“Hospital jobs – jobs that stay in our local community – are under assault,” according to HARI’s document, which said that more than 20,000 people work in hospitals, “from doctors and nurses to pharmacists and food workers.”