On Monday evening, the Congressional super committee tasked to recommend $1.2 trillion in deficit reduction announced that it failed to come to bipartisan agreement. This announcement was made after months of apparent struggle by the 12-person committee to agree on where to trim funds over the next ten years.
The end of the super committee debates, however, signals the new beginning of a familiar fight over Medicare spending. As always, the Association is working diligently to promote responsible spending of Medicare funds and proactively shrink costs. AHCA has already designed and promoted a proposal to reduce Medicare costs for post-acute care and encourage skilled nursing facilities to reduce $5 billion worth of hospital readmissions over 10 years.
As proposals from various groups regarding where the nation will trim its budget begin to surface, Congress must first focus its upcoming December agenda on how to save billions of dollars to offset the upcoming expiration of a legislative fix that has prevented annual cuts in payments to doctors.
Medicare is considered a very likely source for this pricey cut—a cut that comes on top of the 2% slash in the automatic trigger resulting from the inability of the super committee to develop an alternative plan to trim budgets.
More cuts to the long term care profession via Medicare mean that access to quality health care is once again being threatened. As the final days of 2011 wind down, AHCA is gearing up to protect the funds necessary to keep high quality, person-centered care available to families and loved ones across the nation in 2012 and beyond.