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Balancing the Medicare Budget (3/18/2015)

18 Mar 2015 4:09 PM | CSWA Administrator (Administrator)

As you may have heard, there is another deadline, March 31, for the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR), the Medicare formula for creating a balanced budget, that would impose a 21% cut on reimbursement for LCSWs and all other Medicare providers. This is the 18th time that a deadline has arisen. The first 17 times the implementation of the SGR has been 'delayed', leading to short term 'fixes' to balancing the Medicare budget.  

It now appears that a new formula has been in development which would eliminate the proposed cut by reducing Medicare benefits by roughly 10% and reducing provider reimbursement by roughly 10%. This is far from what LCSWs would like to see, particularly with the already diminished reimbursement rate LCSWs receive for psychotherapy services through Medicare (see Medicare Position Paper at the CSWA website.)

An additional cause of concern is the possible loss of funding for the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) which is being tied in to replacing the SGR. The President has said he would veto any effort to end CHIP.

Details are still in development in Congress. I will send you an update as I receive more information and a message to send to members of Congress.


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