by Jonathan Ingram
Senior Health Care Policy Analyst
In October, the federal government will begin implementing the "readmissions adjustment factor," one of ObamaCare's cuts to hospital reimbursement rates. New research from the Kaiser Family Foundation shows that the group hit hardest by these new cuts are safety net hospitals.
According to federal data, a whopping 88 percent of hospitals in Illinois will be hit with this year's rate cuts. By comparison, only 60 percent of the hospitals in the Midwest will be hit with the rate cut. Worse yet, the rate cuts for Illinois hospitals will be 1.5 times higher than the regional average.
Percentage of hospitals that will see ObamaCare's readmissions adjustment factor cuts
Source: Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services
Keep in mind that these rate cuts are in addition to the 31 percent cuts that kick in next year and the many other rate cuts ObamaCare ushers in. Federal trustees have repeatedly warned of the dangers of ObamaCare's major cuts to Medicare. According to the trustees' most recent report to Congress, changes to ObamaCare are needed in order to "prevent the withdrawal of providers from the Medicare market and the severe problems with beneficiary access to care that would result."
Illinois has seen firsthand how low reimbursement rates hit the poorest and sickest, who have nowhere else to turn, forcing them to compete with others for appointments with fewer and fewer doctors willing to see them. The future ObamaCare promises isn't just ugly. It's deadly.
photo illustration by: Todd Wiseman