CBO: Medicare spending to drop $69B by 2022

The Congressional Budget Office has issued a report projecting a significant reduction in Medicare spending over the next decade.

The CBO's Budget and Economic Report, issued late last month, predicts Medicare spending will shrink by $69 billion over the decade compared to prior estimates. It projects the growth in Medicare spending per beneficiary to be only 1 percent a year more than the rate of inflation, noted AHA News Now.

However, financial uncertainties for Medicare loom on the horizon. The non-partisan CBO estimates a repeal of the current sustainable growth rate (SGR) formula that freezes rates at 2011 levels--a proposal that has been floated by the provider community--could cost the program an additional $316 billion over the next ten years. That's up from a prior estimate of $290 billion.

A 27 percent reduction in physician payments is scheduled to take place March 1, driven by the SGR formula, although Congress is currently working on a budget fix that would cancel the payment cuts.

To learn more:
- read the CBO report
- here's the AHA News Now brief

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