President Releases Federal Deficit-Reduction Plan; Includes Changes in Medicare Program
President Obama has submitted an economic growth plan to the new joint House and Senate committee charged with recommending $1.2 trillion in federal deficit savings. Included in his plan is about $224 billion of savings in the Medicare program, achieved through a combination of cuts and reforms. These include:
- Reducing fraud, waste and abuse in the Medicare program, partly through updating payments to more appropriately account for use of advanced imaging, and requiring prior authorization for advanced imaging.
- Dedicating penalties collected from providers who fail to use electronic health records (EHRs) to deficit reduction.
- Strengthening the Medicare Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB), created by the health-care reform law.
- Creating an incentive for the use of high-value services for new Medicare beneficiaries.
- Reducing certain Medicare special payments, including better aligning Medicare payments to rural providers with the cost of care and reducing Medicare payment of bad debt to 25 percent for eligible providers.
While the president calls for strengthening IPAB and implementing scheduled penalties for failure to adopt an EHR system, the Academy is actively advocating for repeal of IPAB and eliminating EHR penalties. The president