Six groups, including the American Hospital Association and Catholic Health Association, submitted a letter to the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction (PDF) asking the panel to nix a plan to reduce Medicare bad-debt payments.
Hospital groups urge supercommittee not to reduce bad-debt payments
“An arbitrary cut to Medicare bad-debt payments on behalf of seniors is bad policy that will weaken the hospital safety net that seniors rely on,” the Oct. 6 letter read.
The Federation of American Hospitals, the Association of American Medical Colleges, the National Association of Public Hospitals and Health Systems and the Premier healthcare alliance also signed the letter claiming the cuts hurt hospitals of all types.
The proposal would trim bad-debt reimbursements from 70% to 25%. While paying respect to the 12-member supercommittee for their unenviable job of finding $1.5 trillion in debt savings over the next decade, the letter repeatedly called the bad-debt cuts “arbitrary,” expressing concern over President Barack Obama's proposal.
“It is also important to note that an increasing share, now more than half, of these Medicare payments is attributable to Medicaid-enrolled low-income seniors in states with payment policies that, in effect, ignore all or a substantial portion of their cost-sharing obligations,” the letter reads. “This puts hospitals in an untenable position with no other recourse.”
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