By definition, sequestration is the action of taking legal possession of assets until a debt has been paid off (Merriam Webster). In regards to the federal government, sequestration is a process that automatically cuts the budgets of all federal departments and agencies.
On January 1st of this year, sequestration was supposed to go into effect. However, the U.S. Congress passed P.L. 112-240 “American Tax Relief Act of 2013″ (aka fiscal cliff) delaying the start of sequestration until March 1st.
Sequestration and Health Care
Sequestration will have a large impact on health care. The impact will be…………….
- Physicians who see Medicare patients will see an automatic 2% reduction in their reimbursement beginning April 1st
- Medicare Parts A and B (fee-for-service) claims dated on or after April 1st
- Claims for DME (durable medical equipment), prosthetics, orthotics, and supplies, including claims under DME Competitive Bidding program will be reduced by 2%
- Medicare’s payment to beneficiaries for unassigned claims is subject to the 2% reduction
- All services and programs within Medicare (all provider services, hospitals, Medicare Advantage plans, graduate medical education) will see a 2% reduction
- EMR “meaningful use” incentive payments to be cut by 2%
Sequestration impact on State Health Departments
Washington – 2,850 children will not receive needed vaccines. $642,000 cut from public health programs
Oregon – 1,670 children will not receive needed vaccines. $366,000 cut from public health programs
California – 15,810 children will not receive needed vaccines. $2,621,000 cut from public health programs
Alaska – 1,400 children will not receive needed vaccines. $237,000 cut from public health programs
Hawaii – 760 children will not receive needed vaccines. $130,000 cut from public health programs
Idaho – 890 children will not receive needed vaccines. $150,000 cut from public health programs