In the News: Deficit Committee, Supreme Court, NSC Revalidation

Deficit Super Committee Deadlocks — The Joint Committee on Deficit Reduction, a bipartisan committee formed earlier this summer as part of the negotiations over the federal debt ceiling, announced today that they have failed to develop a consensus plan to cut more than $1.2 trillion from the federal deficit over the next 10 years.  The failure of the committee to reach an agreement brings to fruition the automatic spending cuts, otherwise known as “sequester”, outlined in the debt ceiling negotiations.  Included in the automatic cuts is nearly $700billion in defense spending and a 2% across-the-board cut to Medicare provider payments for FY2013.  MORE  

National Supplier Clearinghouse (NSC) Revalidation Letter Inaccurate — Suppliers of DMEPOS items for Medicare and Medicaid will be receiving a revalidation notice in the coming months to update their enrollment criteria.  Mandated as part of the Affordable Care Act, DMEPOS suppliers that registered before March 25, 2011 will need to file the update forms and pay a new enrollment fee.  Many of the letters that have already been sent to DMEPOS suppliers erroneously stated that suppliers only have 35 days to submit their re-enrollment form however, this time frame is incorrect, suppliers will have 60 days to file the necessary paperwork. Providers and suppliers may submit the revalidation paperwork only after being asked by their MAC to do so.  Tips for revalidating your enrollment status.

Supreme Court Agrees to Hear Affordable Care Act Challenge — The United States Supreme Court announced last week they will begin hearing arguments next spring on the constitutionality several provisions included in the Patient Protection Affordable Care Act (PPACA).  The controversial law’s “individual mandate” provision, which mandates all citizens purchase health insurance is at the heart of the challenges that have made their way through the appellate court process in 2011.  To date, two appeals courts have upheld the law’s constitutionality, while one has ruled it unconsistutional; another appellate court has ruled that plaintiffs couldn’t sue until the mandate actually goes into effect in 2014.  In addition to the individual mandate, the court could also rule on the dramatic expansion of Medicaid, a state/federal program that serves the poor and disabled, which will shoulder a large number of the newly insured beginning in 2014.  If the Supreme Court ruled either the Medicaid expansion or the individual mandate unconstitutional, much of the entire law would need to be scrapped to avoid astronomical insurance cost and premium increases. MORE

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