Medicare to Cut Payments to Doctors 4.4%

Reply Sat 21 Dec, 2002 10:41 am
WASHINGTON, Dec. 20 ; The Bush administration announced today that Medicare payments to doctors would be cut 4.4 percent next year, after a 5.4 percent cut this year. Federal officials predicted that doctors would, as a result, be less willing to accept new Medicare patients. Less willing may I add than they already are in many parts of the nation
Another piece in the puzzle regarding who will pay for Bush's war. Since we can't afford guns and butter, let's cut out the butter. Another of Bush's failed domestic policies.

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Reply Sat 21 Dec, 2002 10:50 am
How is this a failed Bush domestic policy?

From that article: "The reduction in physician fee schedule rates results from a formula specified in the Medicare law, and we believe that formula is flawed and must be fixed," Mr. Scully said. "Although Congress considered several options for fixing the fee schedule formula for 2003, and the House actually passed a bill to address these issues, no final action was taken before Congress adjourned."

Legislation was proposed to fix the problems in the law and was passed by the House. Who was running the Senate, scheduling legislation for debate and calling for votes on it? Or is Bush supposed to just ignore the law passed by Congress and signed by his predecessor by over-riding it?

It seems to me you can lay this one at the feet of Sen. Daschle for his failure to do anything with it in the Senate.
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Reply Sat 21 Dec, 2002 02:34 pm
The problems related to Medicare payments and the refusal by doctors to accept new Medicare patients has been well documented. This is the administrations response.
In his budget request in February, President Bush assumed that Medicare payments to doctors would be reduced next year and did not offer any proposal to stop the cuts.
Then in March, the administration told Congress that any infusion of new money into Medicare should be used for prescription drug benefits, "not for increasing payments to fee-for-service Medicare providers."
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Reply Sat 21 Dec, 2002 02:58 pm
Great now more doctors will refuse to treat Medicare patients. Eventually it will not matter if people have health insurance and Medicare prescription coverage. No doctor will treat at those rates and no pharmacy will accept payment that low. In Texas I even have trouble finding docs that will accept Blue Cross/Blue Shield because of the cap on payments!!!!
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Reply Sat 21 Dec, 2002 08:43 pm
I can't see how our doctors could refuse to treat Medicare patients, since about 75% of our patients are on Medicare.

Also, Medicare already pays very little and if they cut it anymore they may as well pull out altogether.

For instance, on a $2000 charge, Medicare may pay about $400, so our doctors are not raking it in as everyone seems to think.

What happens is the doctors have to take on a lot more patients to make up for the loss in revenue, which results in decreased quality care, longer wait times, and less time spent with the doctors when you do gain access to them.

This is a crisis about to break loose in the next couple of weeks due to the malpractice insurance increase.

Keep watching.
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Reply Sat 4 Jan, 2003 09:09 am
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