Thousands of sick, elderly Americans “are being denied admission to hospitals or catapulted out of hospital doors prematurely . . . ,” because of a Medicare cost-cutting program, Sen. John Heinz (R-Pa.), chairman of the Senate Special Committee on Aging, said at a hearing to discuss a study by the panel’s staff. The savings plan, established in 1983 to save the Medicare program from bankruptcy, requires that hospitals be paid a predetermined amount for the care of beneficiaries, depending on the diagnosis.