Medicare Payment Cut Concerns September 1st, 2008
Medical industry executives wary of Medicare payment cuts
Drastic cuts in Medicare payments to physicians could harm senior citizens’ access to quality care, warns the American Medical Association in a new medical industry survey.
“Nearly half, 45 percent, of the physicians surveyed by the AMA say next year’s Medicare cut will force them to either decrease or stop seeing new Medicare patients.” AMA President Dr. J. Edward Hill advises medical executives.
“Physicians want to treat seniors, but Medicare cuts are forcing physicians to make difficult practice decisions.”
The 2007 Medicare payment cut of approximately 5 percent is just the tip of the iceberg, with nine years of cuts totaling 34 percent now projected by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, according to the American Medical Association’s Web site.
“Medicare payments have not kept up with practice costs for years, and nine years of cuts are sure to make matters worse.” Hill advises. “The cuts come as the first wave of baby boomers begin to enter Medicare in five years. By the time the full force of the cuts takes effect in 2015, 67 percent of physicians say they will be forced to decrease or stop taking new Medicare patients.”
Medical industry executives should make note of key findings in the AMA survey:
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