For most, the federal budget sequestration (that’s the event, sequester is the verb, as in “to sequester, thanks Gary) has yet to make itself felt.
For some, it’s all too real; one person’s waste is another person’s livelihood.
Here’s a few ways the sequestration stalemate in Washington is affecting health care.
- Medicare reimbursement has been cut 2 percent – about $3 billion
- In the first year, almost a half-million health care jobs will be lost.
- Health care facilities in tidewater Virginia will lost 1600 jobs
- Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas will lose $2 million this year due to the loss of federal grant funds
- A medical practice in Manchester Conn. treating cancer patients has stopped accepting Medicare
- Florida hospitals expect a $2 billion revenue loss over the next ten years – coming on top of earlier decreases in Medicare reimbursement
- fewer doctors will be trained in Albany NY
- $365 million has been cut from funding for “screening newborns for genetic conditions; immunizing uninsured and underinsured children; and tobacco cessation programs for pregnant women…”
- CDC has lost $303 million – as CDC provides about 40 percent of state public health budgets, this will trickle down – it has already led to layoffs of public health workers.
- NIH has lost $1.5 billion in funding
So, what does this mean for you?
Well, reduced reimbursement for hospitals, doctors, and drug companies may mean more cost shifting to privately insured patients.
That’s the macro issue. On a personal level, cuts will affect individuals relying on free vaccinations, wages from medical research funded by NIH, Medicare reimbursement for their salaries, jobs for newly graduated nurses, and residency programs for newly-minted MDs.
There will also be a long-term, downstream impact that we won’t feel for some years – the FBI will not have any new agent classes for at least two years. That’s not good for health care fraud investigations.