Hospitals join device firms on losing end of fiscal cliff fix

The doc fix is in, the device tax isn’t, and hospitals are now bearing the burden of new reimbursement cuts.

We now have an idea of what the American Taxpayer Relief Bill means for the country as well as which completely unrelated tax breaks got included in the legislation as well.

The Congressional Budget Office analyzed the bill’s impact on Medicare.

In his blog post about the impact on healthcare, Brian Ahier offered this analysis:

The bill is a mixed bag in that it would require that hospitals pick up nearly half of the approximately $30 billion cost of stopping the 27% payment cut. The legislation will reduce hospital payments in two ways: number one, it will cut $10.5 billion from projected Medicare hospital payments over 10 years for inpatient or overnight care; number two, it will reduce Medicaid disproportionate share payments to hospitals by an additional $4.2 billion over the next decade.

Here is a list of all the healthcare issues mentioned in the bill that swerved America’s financial SUV away from the edge of the cliff. You can read the full text of the bill here.

Subtitle A — Medicare Extensions
Sec. 601. Medicare physician payment update.
Sec. 602. Work geographic adjustment.
Sec. 603. Payment for outpatient therapy services.
Sec. 604. Ambulance add-on payments.
Sec. 605. Extension of Medicare inpatient hospital payment adjustment for low volume hospitals.
Sec. 606. Extension of the Medicare-dependent hospital (MDH) program.
Sec. 607. Extension for specialized Medicare Advantage plans for special needs individuals.
Sec. 608. Extension of Medicare reasonable cost contracts.
Sec. 609. Performance improvement.
Sec. 610. Extension of funding outreach and assistance for low-income programs.
Subtitle B—Other Health Extensions
Sec. 621. Extension of the qualifying individual (QI) program.
Sec. 622. Extension of Transitional Medical Assistance (TMA).
Sec. 623. Extension of Medicaid and CHIP Express Lane option.
Sec. 624. Extension of family-to-family health information centers.
Sec. 625. Extension of Special Diabetes Program for Type I diabetes and for
Subtitle C—Other Health Provisions
Sec. 631. IPPS documentation and coding adjustment for implementation of MS-DRGs.
Sec. 632. Revisions to the Medicare ESRD bundled payment system to reflect findings in the GAO report.
Sec. 633. Treatment of multiple service payment policies for therapy services.
Sec. 634. Payment for certain radiology services furnished under the Medicare hospital outpatient department prospective payment system.
Sec. 635. Adjustment of equipment utilization rate for advanced imaging services.
Sec. 636. Medicare payment of competitive prices for diabetic supplies and elimination of overpayment for diabetic supplies.
Sec. 637. Medicare payment adjustment for non-emergency ambulance transports for ESRD beneficiaries.
Sec. 638. Removing obstacles to collection of overpayments.
Sec. 639. Medicare advantage coding intensity adjustment.
Sec. 640. Elimination of all funding for the Medicare Improvement Fund.
Sec. 641. Rebasing of State DSH allotments.
Sec. 642. Repeal of CLASS program.
Sec. 643. Commission on Long-Term Care.
Sec. 644. Consumer Operated and Oriented Plan program contingency fund.
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Veronica Combs

I was the editor in chief at I started writing and editing in the print world and joined a dotcom right before the 2000 crash. I was at TechRepublic/CNET/BNET for 7 years. Health was more interesting to me than the latest version of Windows, so I left for a startup tracking prescription drug news. A year later, MedTrackAlert was acquired by HealthCentral, so I shifted to audience research. The fun of daily news and interviewing smart people brought me to MedCity News in February 2012. More posts by Author

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