Many Practices Would Cut Medicare Services Without ‘Doc Fix’
Forty-five percent of physician group practices say they would reduce appointments for new Medicare beneficiaries if Congress does not take steps to avert scheduled cuts to Medicare physician reimbursement rates, according to a recent MGMA-ACMPE survey, Modern Healthcare reports.
Under the sustainable growth rate formula, physicians face a 27% cut to Medicare reimbursements rates, scheduled to take effect on Jan. 1, 2013.
The survey included responses from more than 1,000 group practices with more than 26,000 practicing physicians.
The survey found that:
- 76% of respondents said they would reduce staff salaries and/or benefits if the cuts are not averted; and
- 60% said they have delayed purchasing new equipment or facilities over the past decade because of payment instability from short-term fixes to Medicare's SGR.
Meanwhile, 18% of respondents said they are participating in a new Medicare payment delivery model or pilot project, such as the Medicare Shared Savings-ACO program, the Pioneer ACO model or bundled payments.
In a news release, MGMA-ACMPE President and CEO Susan Turney said that the findings show that "physician practices are willing to engage in new Medicare payment and delivery models that reward high-quality, cost-effective patient care outside of fee-for-service." She added, "Now Congress must do its part, repeal the SGR, and provide stability in Medicare payments so physicians can explore and test new patient-centered approaches" (Zigmond, Modern Healthcare, 10/22).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.