health care

HARI analyzes impact of potential cuts

Posted 11/21/11

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.

These include:

  • 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.”

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