Senators Seek Increase in Physician Reimbursements
A group of 80 senators on Monday sent a letter to Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) and Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) that seeks congressional approval of an increase in Medicare physician reimbursements before adjournment in October, CQ HealthBeat reports. Medicare physician reimbursements will decrease by almost 5% on Jan. 1, 2007, without congressional action.
According to the letter, for which Sens. John Kyl (R-Ariz.) and Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) began to collect signatures last month, a recent survey conducted by the American Medical Association indicates that 45% of physicians would accept fewer Medicare beneficiaries as patients and that 43% would accept fewer TRICARE beneficiaries as patients without congressional action to prevent the reduction in reimbursements.
The reduction in Medicare physician reimbursements would "destabilize the program and put at risk all patients' access to health care," the letter states (CQ HealthBeat, 7/19).