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Medicare cuts could hurt hospitals, expert warns

Washington Post, December 14, 2009

A Senate plan to cut Medicare to pay for an overhaul of the health system would threaten the profitability of roughly one in five hospitals and nursing homes over the next decade, according to an analysis by Rick Foster, chief actuary for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. In a report, Foster questioned the sustainability of many of the proposed cuts, the major source of funding in a plan to extend insurance to more than 30 million additional Americans, the Washington Post reports. The proposal to reduce payments to hospitals and other providers to force them to adopt more efficient practices could prove particularly problematic for institutions that serve large numbers of Medicare patients, Foster wrote in the analysis.