As Congress comes to grips with the nation’s deficit, provider alliance Premier Inc. is asking lawmakers to spare health care providers from payment cuts and focus on enhancing delivery system reforms to lower overall health spending, reduce regulatory burdens and pave the way for improved health care value.

Hospitals and other providers face a two percent reduction in Medicare payments if Congress does not halt the sequestration provision in the Budget Control Act--instituting automatic cuts in federal funding--during budget and deficit negotiations during the next six weeks to avert what is known as the Fiscal Cliff. Additional payment reductions to providers also could result from the negotiations.

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