Official NTOCC Comments

Review the official comments, letters and responses from the National Transitions of Care Coalition (NTOCC).

   Visit the Policy Maker information page

Senate and House Pass Fiscal Cliff Deal

Posted on 1/2/2013 by NTOCC ®

Happy New Year! After weeks of negotiating, last night the House passed by a vote of 257-167 the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012— the bill to avert the fiscal cliff— that was approved earlier New Year’s Day by the Senate by a vote of 89-8.

Outlined below are a few of the health care related provisions included in the fiscal cliff bill. In addition to a series of tax changes, the bill extends current physician payment rates through December 31, 2013 and avoids a 26.5 percent cut that was set to go into effect at the first of the year. Several other various expiring health care provisions would also be extended, including hospital outpatient hold harmless rates, the physician fee work geographic adjustment, the hospital inpatient low-volume adjustment, and outpatient therapy caps. A full list of the health care extenders is included in the attached document. 

However, to off-set the physician fee payment update and other health care extenders, the bill includes cuts to other sectors of the health care system, including adjustments to hospital documentation, coding and rebasing of DSH payments, and rescinding unobligated funds for the Consumer Operated and Oriented Plan (CO-OP) under the Affordable Care Act.  Some of the more controversial cuts that hospitals and other providers had opposed, such as cuts to hospital outpatient and evaluation and management services, graduate medical education, and post-acute care were not included as offsets.   A full list of the health care offsets can be found in the attached document. 

The legislation also delays for two months the sequester cuts that would have resulted in across the board spending cuts to defense and non-defense spending, including $12 billion out of Medicare and an 8% reduction in NIH’s budget.