Tired of Being Targeted, Healthcare Organizations Design Their Own Plan to Trim Medicare Deficit

Members of the Healthcare Leadership Council — which includes hospitals, health plans, pharmaceutical companies and other health organizations — are designing their own plan to reduce a Medicare deficit that would cut into medical spending, according to a Wall Street Journal report.

Members of the council are expected to approve a proposal that calls for bumping Medicare's eligibility age to 67 (starting in 2014) and shifting the program toward private plans for beneficiaries. After developing the proposal, the council plans to pressure members of Congress' "supercommittee" to include these measures in its broader plan to trim $1.2 trillion in costs.

According to the report, healthcare organizations are "frustrated at being the target" of Congressional cost-cutting, as Medicare payments to hospitals and physicians continue to shrink. Now the organizations are proposing that some of those savings come directly from Medicare beneficiaries so providers' abilities are not weakened further.

Members of the HLC include Mayo Clinic, NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, NorthShore University HealthSystem, Cleveland Clinic Foundation, and several other hospitals and systems.

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