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AHA: Obama Budget Proposes 'Troubling Reductions'

Scott Mace, for HealthLeaders Media, April 11, 2013

"Unfortunately, the Obama Administration's budget proposal for fiscal year 2014 contains yet another new round of hospital funding cuts, piling on to the most recent hospital payment reductions used to finance half of the nearly $30 billion Medicare 'doc fix' contained in the New Year's Eve fiscal cliff agreement," said Chip Kahn, president of the Federation of American Hospitals in a statement released by the organization.

Kahn says the Administration's new cuts would be added to more than $320 billion in hospital cuts under the Affordable Care Act, and would aggravate the effects of hospital Medicare payments which have remained below the cost of care for 11 straight years.

The Obama Administration and Congress should seek "a more transformational approach to reduce costs," said Blair Childs, senior vice president of public affairs for the Premier healthcare alliance in remarks released to the media.

"We urge a focus on accelerating and expanding delivery system reforms that simultaneously achieve sustainable savings and improve healthcare quality," Childs said. "Providers need tools to bend the cost curve and improve quality. We should look to bipartisan reforms such as accountable care organizations and bundled payments that have proven to incent quality and successful outcomes and improve coordination, thereby generating better value for beneficiaries and the government."

The American Medical Association applauded the new budget's recognition of the need to eliminate the SGR Medicare physician payment formula.

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