The American Hospital Association on Monday lashed out against a proposal by President Barack Obama that it says would cut more than $220 billion to hospitals over a decades timemoney the administration said would be used to help pay for a massive overhaul to the U.S. healthcare system.
AHA decries potential cuts that could top $220 billion
Reform must improve care for patients without crippling hospitals ability to care for patients and communities, AHA President Richard Umbdenstock said in a written statement. On Saturday, Obama said he would seek to trim $313 billion in federal payments, primarily from Medicare, affecting hospitals, inpatient rehabilitation facilities, skilled-nursing facilities and other sectors that provide patient care.
Those cuts would largely break down in three ways: $110 billion from incorporating productivity adjustments into the way Medicare pays providers; $106 billion by cutting how much the government subsidizes hospitals for treating uninsured patients, and $75 billion by refiguring prices within the Part D program. Another $22 billion more would come from implementing payment adjustments recommended by the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission.
But Umbdenstock said that hospitals already face as much as $41 billion in cuts due to recent changes in Medicare. Additional cuts of this magnitude could severely jeopardize hospitals ability to care for their patients and communities, he added.
The National Association of Public Hospitals and Health Systems also said that while it supports reform, it should not be funded "by diverting payments to public hospitals that support essential safety net services in our nation's communities."
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