You have been hearing this word in the news a great deal lately.
So….What is Sequestration?
It is a term used to describe the practice of using mandatory spending cuts in the federal budget. If the cost of running the government exceeds the revenue it brings in during the fiscal year, sequestration means automatic reductions to government support programs.
How will it affect us? It is a question I have been asked frequently by the team. On elevators, in the hallways, after meetings – how will the sequester affect McLeod?
As you know, the sequester began April 1st and includes a 2% decrease in payments for medical services rendered to Medicare patients. We must provide the nursing care, give the medicines, perform surgery, take x-rays … and receive 2% less than we received last year for the same services.
Because health care is very expensive and the current cost is not sustainable … because the government could not agree on how to control expenses in this recession and the sequester cuts were necessary … both answers help us to understand the “Why” question.
But then I am asked … which is probably the intent of the first question … “How much?”
From April to September, the answer is nearly $3,000,000 for services at McLeod Health. This is the breakdown by facilities:
For remainder of 2013:
McLeod Regional $2,080,097
Loris Seacoast $329,696
Summary 2013 $2,908,929
For 2014 – full year:
Loris Seacoast $544,440
Summary 2014 $4,702,162
We must find a way to remove cost from the process of caring for patients. How do we help the patient receive the right care in a safe way at a lower cost is the question we must ask and answer. The health of our nation depends upon our answer.
Thanks for your service to others,