Medicare trustees release annual report

The Medicare Board of Trustees today estimated that the program’s Hospital Insurance trust fund will remain solvent until 2026, two years later than projected last year, in part due to lower actual and projected spending for Part A services. “Hospitals are contributing to these trends, with hospital cost growth at its lowest rate in 10 years,” said AHA President and CEO Rich Umbdenstock. “America’s hospitals will continue our efforts to decrease the cost of caring while providing the best quality health care for all patients.” The Supplementary Medical Insurance trust fund, which covers Medicare Part B physician and outpatient services and Part D prescription drugs, is projected to remain adequately financed because current law automatically provides financing each year to meet the next year’s expected costs. “Such financing, however, would have to increase faster than the economy to cover expected expenditure growth under current law,” the report notes. The report calls for Congress and the executive branch to “work closely together with a sense of urgency to address the depletion of the HI trust fund and the projected growth in HI (Part A) and SMI (Parts B and D) expenditures.”  AHA News Now, May 31, 2013

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