Payroll Tax Deal Reduces Mass. Hospital Payments

Tuesday, 28 Feb 2012 11:50 AM

By Greg McDonald

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The recent payroll tax cut package passed by Congress contains a small section that could end up costing Massachusetts hospitals and healthcare facilities millions over the next few years.
 
According the Boston Globe, a preventative care fund and a program to help care for the poor and elderly will take the biggest hits, thanks to some $62 million in rate cuts to state facilities over the next 10 years.
 
Massachusetts Hospital Association Executive Vice President Tim Gens told the Globe the cuts could be even worse in the final analysis, and the state is not in a position to absorb them without affecting “the services and access that we want to provide.”
 
The state’s own healthcare reform efforts, which served as a model for Obamacare, have also been hard hit by $5.7 billion in reduced Medicare payments over the next 10 years to Massachusetts providers, the Globe noted.
 
In addition, state providers could lose another $1.1 billion over the same period “if Congress fails to hash out a deficit reduction deal by Dec. 31,” the Globe said.
 
The newest cuts were apparently written into the payroll tax deal as a way to pay for the part of the bill that delays reductions in Medicare reimbursement payments to doctors, the Globe said.

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