Medicare Trustees: Hospital Funds Improve, Now Solvent Through 2026

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Medicare's hospital fund has improved significantly in the past year, as it is projected to remain solvent through 2026 — two years beyond last year's projections.

The Medicare Trustees released their annual report on the state of the largest healthcare program in the country, which covered almost 51 million people and recorded roughly $537 billion in total income in 2012. Trustees on the board include HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and the newest member, Jack Lew, the current U.S. secretary of the treasury.

The group said Medicare's improved outlook was due to several reasons, such as lower-than-expected hospital spending and reduced Medicare Advantage costs. Medicare, and national healthcare expenditures in general, have also grown at historically slow levels for the past three years.

CMS Administrator Marilyn Tavenner also attributed Medicare's stronger footing to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and some of its provisions that have rolled out in the past year.

"The Medicare Hospital Insurance trust fund is projected to be solvent for longer, which is good news for beneficiaries," Ms. Tavenner said in a news release. "Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, we are taking important steps to improve the delivery of care for seniors with Medicare. These reforms aim to reduce spending while improving the quality of care and are an important down payment on solving Medicare's long-term financial issues."

More Articles on Hospitals and Medicare:

Where Medicare Stands: A Discussion With Dr. Oliver Fein of Weill Cornell Medical College
10 Major Takeaways From CMS' FY 2012 Financial Report
5 Points to Know on the 2012 Medicare Trustees Report

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