AMA Asks Congress To Block Medicare Physician Reimbursement Reduction
American Medical Association President J. Edward Hill on Monday at an AMA House of Delegates meeting in Dallas said that Congress should block a 4.4% reduction in Medicare reimbursements for physicians that is scheduled to take effect on Jan. 1, 2006, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports. According to Hill, the planned reduction likely will prompt some physicians to limit or end their participation in Medicare.
In a national AMA survey of physicians conducted in April, 38% of respondents said that they would have to decrease the number of new Medicare beneficiaries they treat if the reduction takes effect.
"We're reaching the point where 38% looms very big out there," Hill said. He added that Medicare reimbursements for physicians in recent years have increased at a lower rate than physician costs. Hill said, "The payments levels are not able to sustain a practice unless you have a small percentage of Medicare patients" (Jarvis, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, 11/8).