Medicare Patients May Lose Their Doctors

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Oct. 25, 2002 — Time has run out for Congress to take authoritative action some time recently its decision break. Time may be running out on a few Medicare patients, as well.

That’s because later reductions in Medicare financing have driven some specialists to reevaluate whether they will acknowledge unused Medicare patients, concurring to considers by the American Medical Affiliation. More than 40% of surveyed physicians indicated that they would not sign Medicare interest understandings if funding were cut once more.

And the cut will very likely come. The only question is, will Congress mellow the blow? Medicare’s budget is tied to the gross household product, which driven to a 5.4% diminish in subsidizing on Nov. 1, 2001. Now, a cut of 4.4 % will occur on Jan. 1, 2003. The Senate is considering a “give-back” bill that may return $43 billion in reimbursement to Medicare providers. On the off chance that passed, it would result in a Medicare payment in 2005 that would be 20% higher than on the off chance that no activity is taken.

In June, the House of Agents passed a charge that would supplement Medicare reimbursements but the Senate must favor a version of the charge to create that happen.

But early indications do not look good. The Senate did not pass the charge before the race break, and now if it is to be passed before January, it’ll need to occur during a lame duck session. “You never know how that’s attending to work. It’s a huge gamble, but it looks like it might be the final chance,” Bob Doherty, bad habit president of the American College of Physicians, tells WebMD.

The annual survey of its members by the American Foundation of Family Doctors shown that close to 22% of specialists not take unused Medicare patients, compared with 17% in a survey taken final year. “That’s a noteworthy access issue for the fragment of our population that is most helpless,” Warren Jones, MD, president of AAFP, tells WebMD.

Patients and doctors may be confronting the emergency together, added Doherty. “More seasoned doctors tend to have older patients.” –>

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