The political state in this country is arguably volatile at the moment. Every citizen of the nation, and even many non-citizens have great stake in the decisions made by the House and Senate. This is abundantly true for hospital administrators and physicians in this country. Healthcare is one of the hottest topics in the country at the moment (as it has been at many times in America’s history). This country handles healthcare much differently than other nations of the world. That comes with pros and cons, of course.
Medicare and Medicaid are dependent on government funds, and at the moment several of the proposals being placed before the members of Senate threaten to cut Medicare spending by large sums of money. As of the beginning of the month, a major budget reform proposal included a clause that would cut Medicare funding by nearly half a billion dollars over the next ten years. Medicaid would see even greater cuts. According to some reports, the cuts to the Medicaid program could reach one trillion dollars over the same time span. Of course, it isn’t just the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services that would see a cut in available funds should the legislation pass. Overall, more than five trillion dollars of domestic program spending is being questioned at the moment. These figures are not definite, but based upon calculations tied to the potential cuts to specific grants and federal agencies.
This budget hasn’t been passed by the Senate, of course, and will continue to be debated. It is important to note, however, that this could mean very large changes when it comes to hospital operation. Such cuts would undoubtedly mean less bad debt coverage by CMS, making it more important than ever before to collect those payments now before such programs face cuts.