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Report predicts 37,400 Pa. job losses from Medicare cuts

A report released this week estimated that Medicare reimbursement cuts mandated by the federal Budget Control Act of 2011 could result in the loss of nearly 37,400 jobs in Pennsylvania.

The American hospital, medical and nurses associations released the report, which studied the effects of the 2 percent reduction in Medicare payments scheduled to begin in 2013 and continue until 2021 if the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction fails – as it has – to accomplish deficit reductions of $1.2 trillion.

A Congressional Budget Office analysis said the cuts will total $10.7 billion in 2013 and $16.4 billion in 2021.

The model includes direct health care job losses, reduced purchases by health care entities of goods and services from other businesses which in turn lay off workers, and reduced household purchases by workers who lose their jobs.

In 2013, the report estimates, 24,000 Pennsylvania jobs and more than 496,000 jobs nationally – 92,980 of them hospital jobs –– will be lost. Pennsylvania hospitals are expected to lose $149 million as a result of the first year of sequestration cuts and more than $1.4 billion through 2021.

Pennsylvania hospitals provide nearly 600,000 hospital and hospital service-related jobs and almost $100 billion. In 55 of the state’s 67 counties, hospitals are among the top five employers.

According to Bureau of Labor Statistics national data, health care created 169,800 jobs in the first half of 2012 and accounted for one out of every five new jobs created this year.

 

Heather Stauffer

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