Sequestration Would Hurt Rural Health Providers, Study Shows

WASHINGTON -- Rural health care providers heard bleak predictions about the potential effects of sequestration at the National Rural Health Association's 24th annual Rural Health Policy Institute last week.

If Medicare reimbursement is reduced by 2% as specified in the sequestration process due to start in three weeks, 63 rural hospitals will no longer be profitable and 482 rural health care jobs will be lost nationally, according to estimates by iVantage Health Analytics.

California's rural hospitals won't be as hard-hit as those in the Midwest and South, according to the research, but all health care providers who treat Medicare beneficiaries will feel the pinch at some level, said Gregory Wolf of iVantage.

"This is going to have an impact everywhere -- urban, suburban, rural -- but I think it's fair to say rural will feel it more, especially small, remote providers," Wolf said.

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