Imminent federal spending cuts, commonly known as sequestration, will result in a 2% cut in Medicare payments to providers, starting on Friday, March 1. Also, the National Institutes of Health and most other nondefense programs will be cut by roughly 8%. Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program are exempt from the sequester.
Unless Congress takes immediate action, Medicare providers stand to absorb $11 billion of the $85 billion in federal spending cuts for 2013. A report issued by the American Medical Association, the American Hospital Association and the American Nurses Association said that the 2% cut would result in nearly 500,000 jobs lost in 2013 alone.
These cuts are required by the Budget Control Act of 2011. Sequestration was originally scheduled to take effect on January 1, though Congress delayed the cuts until March 1 as part of the last minute “fiscal cliff” deal signed into law on January 2.
Last fall, the ASNR signed on to an AMA letter to Congress, which explained that a 2% cut would not only “…impede improvements to our health care system, it could lead to serious access to care issues for Medicare patients as well as employment reductions in medical practices.”

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