Medicare Cuts Will Cost 500,000 Jobs

WASHINGTON — WEDNESDAY, Sept. 12, 2012 (MedPage Today) — Nearly 500,000 occupations will be lost one year from now alone if a 2 percent programmed cut in Medicare spending ordered after a year ago's obligatioWASHINGTON — WEDNESDAY, Sept. 12, 2012 (MedPage Today) — Nearly 500,000 jobs will be lost next year alone if a 2 percent automatic cut in Medicare spending mandated following last year's debt ceiling crisis takes effect, three major healthcare organizations charge.

In 2013, more than 496,000 jobs will be lost, a number that will grow to 766,000 by 2021, according to the report released by the American Medical Association (AMA), the American Hospital Association, and the American Nurses Association.

Job losses in physician, dentist, and other practitioner offices alone stand would exceed 40,000, a study commissioned by the three groups revealed. That number will grow to nearly 62,000 by 2021.

The 2011 Budget Control Act called for mandatory, across-the-board cuts in federal spending starting Jan. 1, including a 2 percent cut in Medicare spending, unless Congress acts to reduce the federal deficit by $1.2 trillion over the next 10 years.

The model for the new study, conducted by Pittsburgh-based consultant Tripp Umbach, projected cuts of $10.7 billion in 2013 using baseline spending impacted by Medicare payments. Job losses include those involved in direct patient care as well as support roles. Not only will health sector jobs be lost, but a slowdown in spending by health entities will lead to job losses in companies and organizations whose clients are health-related.

The Alliance for Quality Nursing Home Care also said Wednesday that Medicare funding to skilled nursing facilities in the 12 states with the most media spending in the 2012 presidential campaign will be drop by $251.7 million under the automatic cuts — known in political jargon as sequestration and dubbed the "fiscal cliff," by others.

The AMA, along with medical societies of all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and 73 specialty medical societies, sent a letter to Congress on Wednesday asking members to nullify the sequestration cuts.

"The combination of a sequestration cut and looming Medicare Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) payment cut would not only impede improvements to our healthcare system, it could lead to serious access to care issues for Medicare patients as well as employment reductions in medical practices," the letter stated.

The cuts could not come at a worse time, AMA President Jeremy Lazarus, MD, said at a joint news conference Wednesday.

Baby boomers are expected to flood Medicare, and new beneficiaries are already having a difficult time finding a doctor to see them, he said. These cuts would further harm access to care.

Physician reimbursement for treating Medicare patients has remained flat for more than a decade, while the cost of caring for beneficiaries has increased by 27 percent, Lazarus said.

"Common sense tells you that this is not a good time to take a hatchet to healthcare," he said.

Office-based physicians supported 4 million jobs in 2009, and a sequestration cut would put those jobs in jeopardy, Lazarus said.

American Hospital Association President Rich Umbdenstock quoted statistics from the Labor Department showing that healthcare accounted for 1 in every 5 new jobs created this year. "As Congress looks for ways to cut the deficit, we must not lose sight of the economic contribution of the healthcare sector," Umbdenstock said.

Instead of a 2 percent slash in Medicare payments, Umbdenstock said Congress can find savings through liability insurance reform, increasing the age of Medicare eligibility, and reducing payments to pharmaceutical and medical device companies.

The AMA hasn't taken an official position on any area on which to cut. "We realize this is going to be a difficult area to look at," Lazarus added.

The physician group supports alternative-payment models, but a big, one-time cut won't allow for time to better explore those, he said.

Congress will likely take up the touchy issue after the November elections, along with a number of other issues, including staving off a 27 percent cut to physician payments under the SGR which is currently scheduled to take effect Jan. 1.

Lawmakers, who are expected to leave Washington and hit the campaign trail next week, could act as early as this week on one of the many issues it has on its plate before year's end: passing fiscal 2013 appropriations. The House is expected to vote Thursday on a bill to fund the federal government until April 1. The current fiscal year ends Sept. 30.

The proposed bill funds all agencies at their current rate for another 6 months.
n roof emergency produces results, three noteworthy human services associations charge.

In 2013, more than 496,000 employments will be lost, a number that will develop to 766,000 by 2021, as indicated by the report discharged by the American Medical Association (AMA), the American Hospital Association, and the American Nurses Association.

Employment misfortunes in doctor, dental practitioner, and other expert workplaces alone stand would surpass 40,000, an examination charged by the three gatherings uncovered. That number will develop to almost 62,000 by 2021.

The 2011 Budget Control Act called for compulsory, no matter how you look at it cuts in government spending beginning Jan. 1, including a 2 percent cut in Medicare spending, unless Congress acts to lessen the government shortage by $1.2 trillion throughout the following 10 years.

The model for the new investigation, directed by Pittsburgh-based specialist Tripp Umbach, anticipated cuts of $10.7 billion of every 2013 utilizing benchmark spending affected by Medicare installments. Employment misfortunes incorporate those engaged with coordinate patient care and also bolster parts. Will wellbeing area employments be lost, as well as a log jam in spending by wellbeing substances will prompt occupation misfortunes in organizations and associations whose customers are wellbeing related.

The Alliance for Quality Nursing Home Care likewise said Wednesday that Medicare financing to talented nursing offices in the 12 states with the most media spending in the 2012 presidential crusade will be drop by $251.7 million under the programmed cuts — referred to in political language as sequestration and named the "monetary bluff," by others.

The AMA, alongside therapeutic social orders of every one of the 50 expresses, the District of Columbia, and 73 strength restorative social orders, sent a letter to Congress on Wednesday requesting that individuals invalidate the sequestration cuts.

"The blend of a sequestration cut and approaching Medicare Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) installment cut would not just obstruct enhancements to our human services framework, it could prompt genuine access to administer to Medicare patients and additionally work decreases in therapeutic practices," the letter expressed.

The cuts couldn't come at a more regrettable time, AMA President Jeremy Lazarus, MD, said at a joint news gathering Wednesday.

People born after WW2 are required to surge Medicare, and new recipients are as of now having a troublesome time finding a specialist to see them, he said. These slices would additionally hurt access to mind.

Doctor repayment for treating Medicare patients has stayed level for over 10 years, while the cost of administering to recipients has expanded by 27 percent, Lazarus said.

"Presence of mind discloses to you this isn't a decent time to take an ax to social insurance," he said.

Office-based doctors bolstered 4 million occupations in 2009, and a sequestration cut would put those employments in risk, Lazarus said.

American Hospital Association President Rich Umbdenstock cited insights from the Labor Department demonstrating that social insurance represented 1 in each 5 new employments made for the current year. "As Congress searches for approaches to cut the shortfall, we should not dismiss the financial commitment of the social insurance area," Umbdenstock said.

Rather than a 2 percent cut in Medicare installments, Umbdenstock said Congress can discover funds through risk protection change, expanding the period of Medicare qualification, and diminishing installments to pharmaceutical and therapeutic gadget organizations.

The AMA hasn't taken an official position on any region on which to cut. "We understand this will be a troublesome region to take a gander at," Lazarus included.

The doctor gather underpins elective installment models, yet a major, one-time slice won't take into account time to better investigate those, he said.

Congress will probably take up the delicate issue after the November decisions, alongside various different issues, including fighting off a 27 percent slice to doctor installments under the SGR which is as of now booked to produce results Jan. 1.

Legislators, who are required to leave Washington and hit the battle field one week from now, could go about as right on time as this week on one of the many issues it has on its plate before year's end: passing financial 2013 allotments. The House is relied upon to vote Thursday on a bill to finance the central government until April 1. The current monetary year closes Sept. 30.

The proposed charge subsidizes all offices at their present rate for an additional a half year.

No comments