The nation's hospitals reportedly have reached a collaborative deal with a key senator and the White House that will result in a cut $160 billion in funding over the next decade as part of an overall effort to help finance an overhaul of the U.S. healthcare system. In return, several sources familiar with the negotiations said that the hospital sector would get stronger support from Capitol Hill and the White House on measures that would restrict the new development of hospitals owned by physician groups and put tougher reporting measures on those that already exist.
For hospitals, the payment reductions would be spread out over the next 10 years—and some would be contingent on whether or not certain health insurance coverage benchmarks are first met.
The bulk of savings would come from reductions in Medicare reimbursement to inpatient hospitals, as well as to cuts in the amount of money the federal government pays for graduate education and for the treatment of uninsured or underinsured patients, according to two sources who requested anonymity.
Negotiations started last month between Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) and the American Hospital Association, the Federation of American Hospitals and the Catholic Health Association. Representatives from all three of those organizations declined to comment, but a formal announcement is expected to come Wednesday morning at the White House.