HealthCare Reform



 Summary of Legislative ActionWeek 3: 4/22-4/26


Cigarette Tax Bills Fail to Obtain Committe Aprroval

Senate Unanimously Approves medicaiod Transparency: SB 55 by Sen. Ronnie Johns which provides transparency provisions,passed the Senate and moves forward to House Health& Welfare Committee for a hearing and approval. This would require DHH to submit an anuual report to the legislature on the LA Medicaid Bayou Health and Louisiana Behavioral Health Partnership and Coordinated System of Care programs.

Louisiana State Board of Medical Examinaers and Louisiana Board of Neursing agree to MOU regarding the licensure and regulation of the Advanced Practice Nurses: this would move the supervison,licensure and regulation of the Advanced Practice Nurses from LA Board of Nursing to the Medical Examiners.

Medicaid Expansion Fails in the House Health and Welfare

Dual Employment Bill passes House and Governmental Committee: this bill would allow a person to be employment in a state office and ain the US governement at the smae time. This would aloow for VA and LSU faculty to be dually appointed.

Senate Education Members Refuse Cap on TOPS Program

Upcoming Bills:

HB 284 by Stephen Ortego transfers governance and control of state hospitals from LSU to human services districts and authorities of the state and provides for financing of health services by such districts and authorites.

HB 569 by Terry Brown eliminates restrictions on performance of physical therapy services without a prescription referral.





AANEM Advocacy Alert

Sequestration Cuts Medicare Reimbursement Beginning April 1

Your Action Requested

The federal budget sequester went into effect March 1 after a lack of Congressional action to avoid the automatic spending cuts. Effective April 1, Medicare payments to hospitals, doctors, and other health care providers will be reduced by 2%.

In the weeks leading up to the March 1 deadline, the Senate twice voted down proposals to halt the automatic, across-the-board spending cuts to government programs. Their lack of agreement on a deficit-reduction policy was followed by the signing of an executive order to initiate broad cuts to government spending.  

The sequestration order directs government agencies, including Medicare, to cut their budgets. Most cuts to federal agencies and programs will not begin overnight—some agencies will have until October 1 to determine where to cut spending. However, it’s anticipated that Medicare providers will see the impact of sequestration by mid-April. The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) will implement the 2% cut, reimbursing Medicare claims at 98 cents on the dollar. A CMS spokesperson anticipates that the sequester reductions will result in $11 billion in lost revenue to Medicare doctors, hospitals, and other providers.

Specific details of the Medicare sequester have not yet been made public, including:

  • Whether the 2% cut will be applied to allowed charges under the Medicare physician fee schedule (and so affect beneficiary copayments);
  • If the 2% cut will be applied only to the physician’s Medicare claims payment;
  • Whether the cuts will be applied to claims with a date of service on or after April 1, or to all claims payments made on or after April 1.

In a statement released on March 1, American Medical Association President Jeremy Lazarus said, “Both Medicare beneficiaries and providers will feel real pain from the cuts. Sequestration will widen the already enormous gap between what Medicare pays and the actual cost of caring for seniors." 
Congress and the president could halt some or all of the spending cuts, but it may take a surge of public indignation to motivate them to do so. AANEM members are encouraged to contact their elected officials to share their concerns over the impending cuts, which come on the heels of a significant decrease in Medicare reimbursement for EDX services.
AANEM staff is tracking implementation of the sequestration cuts and will provide updates as they become available.

Make Your Voice Heard: Contact Your Representative Today

Use the talking points developed by AANEM when contacting your federal legislators by phone, email, or mail. Identify contact information for your representatives. You may also schedule an appointment to meet with legislative staff face-to-face at your representative’s local office.

Thank you for partnering with us in this work. Your efforts help protect the future of health care for Medicare patients.