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Letter to Editor: Proposed Medicare Cuts Threaten Senior Health Care



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Dear Editor: 

The Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) proposed “site-neutral” rule would jeopardize health care services for senior citizens throughout Illinois.  The planned rule seeks to expand Medicare’s use of site-neutral payments, which means that the payments to hospitals providing outpatient care would be flattened to the same rate as standalone physicians performing similar procedures.

By disregarding the setting in which the procedure is performed, this proposed rule would lead to nearly $760 million in cuts to Medicare payments each year.  These cuts could force hospitals to limit the services they provide, even forcing facilities in our area to close their doors for good.

I am pleased that U.S. Rep. Peter Roskam (IL-06) understands what is at risk.  He recently hosted a roundtable discussion that I had the opportunity to attend, during which dozens of community members expressed their concerns regarding CMS’ site-neutral proposal.  It is clear that CMS must reverse the Medicare cuts for care provided by hospitals with off-campus outpatient departments as outlined in this proposal.

I hope others in Congress can follow Rep. Roskam’s leadership by reaffirming that CMS must consider site-specific costs when calculating Medicare reimbursement rates.

Bill Pohlman

Palatine, IL


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