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Hospitals Faced with Two Challenges as Medicare Spending Falls

Medicare Spending

Medicare and Medicaid are at the center of much debate right now in this nation.  While many of the questions and concerns continue to go unanswered, while policies and proposals are debated within the government houses, there are a few known facts.  As of the start of 2018, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services will have $609 billion dollars to cover the healthcare expenses of fifty-eight million???? eligible Medicare enrollees.  That works out to just over ten thousand dollars per person.  With a single MRI costing as much as $3,500, and a single course of chemotherapy costing $15,000, $30,000, or even up to $120,000 depending on the type of cancer and the drug used to treat it, it is clear that the $10,500 isn’t going to go very far for many patients.

There are supplemental insurances that can help patients cover the costs of medical treatment.  The supplemental insurances are highly recommended.  Medigap can help to ensure that patients are able to afford the expensive procedures that can save their lives.  Yet, not every Medicare recipient can afford the additional insurance.  There are many who are not eligible for Medicaid, but don’t have the budget to afford Medigap.  According to nationwide statistics, the average Medigap plan costs $183 per month.

With so many patients underinsured in this nation, hospitals are faced with a moral dilemma.  Treating patients with the knowledge that they likely won’t receive full payment for the services rendered is a difficult move for these facilities.   The potential cuts to Medicare and Medicaid in coming years is going could make this an even greater challenge.  This creates a greater need for two things in hospitals throughout this country:

  1. Innovative thinking in order to find new ways to cut costs without interfering with proper patient care.
  2. A strong understanding and dedicated approach to CMS-related paperwork, in order to ensure fair payment for services rendered.

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