KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

The Truth About The 2 Percent Medicare Sequestration Cuts

News outlets examine what can be done about cuts to Medicare payments to cancer clinics, among others. And the IPAB deadline is three weeks away.

The Medicare NewsGroup: Fact/Fiction: The Obama Administration Can Spare Cancer Clinic Drugs From Sequestration Cuts
Some cancer clinics have said that the Obama administration has the power to save them from sequestration cuts that are forcing the clinics to turn away Medicare beneficiaries. Fact or Fiction? Fiction. Neither the Obama administration or the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services can decide which parts of Medicare spending should be cut or by how much. Only through legislation could cancer clinics be spared from the cuts (Sjoerdsma, 4/9).

CQ HealthBeat: Mayo Clinic To Take $47M Hit Under Medicare Cuts
Automatic across-the-board cuts in Medicare provider payments is costing the renowned Mayo Clinic $47 million a year, and "it slows us down," the head of the clinic told a Washington, D.C., audience on Tuesday. … The 2 percent Medicare provider cuts began this month under the budgetary sequestration process and [Dr. John] Noseworthy said a slower pace of research is harmful in the quest for innovation (Norman, 4/10).

CQ HealthBeat: Medicare Cost Board Could Come Into Play In Late April
The deadline is three weeks away for figuring out whether a controversial board included in the health care law will be responsible for coming up with Medicare cuts next year. Although the trigger is not expected to be met, the health care overhaul requires the chief actuary of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to determine whether the cuts will be necessary by April 30. Under the 2010 law, the Independent Payment Advisory Board is charged with making cost-cutting recommendations each year beginning in 2014 if Medicare spending exceeds a target growth rate (Attias, 4/10).

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