Do you remember the Y2K scare. There was wide-spread concern that at 12:01 am on January 1, 2000, computer systems all over the world would quit functioning. Fortunately the 2000 new year came and went without any problem.
For those of us in health care January 1, 2013, is even more worrisome than Y2K.
January 1, 2013, marks the day that significant cuts to health care reimbursement are set to take place unless Congress can do something about the impending “fiscal cliff” over the next two and a half months.
In the summer of 2011 a bipartisan group of 6 Congressional Leaders came together to hammer out a deal to solve the debt ceiling crisis but they failed to reach an agreement. Their failure resulted in “sequestration” which will cause automatic cuts to defense and health care spending effective January 1, 2013. On top of these cuts several tax breaks are set to expire at the end of the year and the physician pay formula calls for a reduction of physician pay by 27%. The only way to prevent all of these things from happening is for Congress to address each issue and develop a solution before January 1, 2013.
It has been confirmed that the original gang of 6 who were tasked with developing a plan to avoid sequestration have added 2 newbies to their group and they plan to meet at a secret location at an unknown time to attempt to hammer out a deal to take to Congress before the January 1, 2013, deadline.
A bipartisan solution would be great and we should all keep our fingers crossed that something gets done before January.
It is a little troubling that elected officials, accountable to the public have the ability to secretly and not be accountable to those they serve…it all seems a little “cloak and dagger”.