The political squabble that led to budget cuts known as “The Sequester” continue to impact healthcare providers.
On March 1 across the board spending cuts of $1.2 trillion occurred due to the failure between Republicans and Democrats to come to a compromise on the budget. Rather than update the budget or divert the funds to the programs most in need arbitrary budget cuts occurred across several programs.
One of the programs most stretched by the cuts is Medicare. Hospitals and other providers will be reimbursed by 2 percent less due to sequester. If getting back only cents on the dollars doesn’t sound that bad- consider that hospitals have already lost millions of dollars in reimbursements due to the cuts. A 2 percent drop is a major adjustment for organizations with multi-million dollar budgets, but the actual cuts are only a portion of the problem for Medicare providers.
During negotiations prior to the sequester cuts, President Barack Obama was suggesting more than 2 percent in healthcare budget reduction. Republicans wanted even more.
The uncertainty is causing major problems for healthcare providers who cannot plan on future budgets that include Medicare reimbursement. As the uncertainty surrounding Medicare reimbursement were not enough hospitals must also deal with the implementation of the Affordable Care Act starting next year.
Businesses suffer due to uncertainty, and the current political environment is not helping healthcare providers.