healthcare reform

Medicare and Healthcare Reform

The healthcare Reform bill, also known as the Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as "Obamacare", is a guideline. It is up to the Secretary of Health and several new divisions to work out the details. Many parts of the act has an affect on Medicare. What we know, or suspect, so far:

Medicare cuts to hospitals began (2010).
Medicare payments to physicians in primarily rural areas increased for 2 years (FY10).
Medicare cuts to inpatient psych hospitals started 7/1/10.
Some hospitals will receive higher payments (FY11).
Medicare Advantage funding held flat (2011).
Medicare Advantage PFFS plans terminated except in rural areas (2011) (has not been fully implemented as of 2012 and may not be fully implemented ever).

Medicare Advantage premiums and co-pays will increase (2011).
Medicare cuts to home health begin (2011).
Medicare cuts to diagnostic imaging (2011).
Wealthier seniors begin paying higher Part D premium (2011).
Medicare cuts for ambulance services (2011).
Medicare cuts for diagnostic labs (2011).

Medicare cuts for durable medical equipment (2011).
Part D donut hole reduction begins, reaching 25% reduction by 2020 (2011) (2012 reduction partially delayed for brand name medication).
Prohibition on Medicare payments to new physician-owned hospitals (2011).
Medicare Advantage and Part D annual enrollment changed to October 15 through December 7 (2011 and beyond).
Medicare open enrollment discontinued, changed to "Disenrollment Period" January 1 to February 14 (2011).

Seniors prohibited from purchasing power wheelchairs unless they first rent for 13 months (2011).
$250 subsidy for people who went into the donut hole in 2010 (3/15/11)(No longer available).
Brand name drugs discounted 50% while in the donut hole (2011).
10% Medicare bonus payment for primary care and general surgery (2011).
Medicare cuts to long-term care hospitals (7/1/11).
Additional Medicare cuts to hospitals (FY12).
Medicare cuts to nursing homes and inpatient rehab facilities (FY12).

Medicare cuts to dialysis treatments (2012).
Medicare to start new HMO-like care model (2012, has been delayed).
Some Medicare Advantage plans to receive quality bonus payments (2011).
Medicare cuts to hospitals with high readmission rates (FY13).
Medicare cuts to hospice (FY13).
Tax deduction for Part D retiree drug subsidy employers receive eliminated (2013).
Medicare cuts to hospitals who treat low-income seniors (2013).
More Medicare cuts to home health (2014).
Medicare payment cuts for hospital-aquired infections (FY15).
More Medicare cuts to home health (2015).