Some MDs Will Withdraw From Medicare if Payments Decrease
Some physicians plan to decrease the number of Medicare beneficiaries they treat or stop accepting beneficiaries as new patients if the federal government goes forward with a plan to cut payment rates, the American Medical Association said on Thursday, the AP/Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports. Medicare payments to physicians are scheduled to be reduced by 4.6% next year unless lawmakers act to change the formula used to reimburse physicians who treat Medicare beneficiaries.
According to an AMA survey, about 29% of physicians responding to an online poll said they plan to reduce the number of beneficiaries they take on as new patients if the cuts take effect, and 16% said they plan to stop accepting any beneficiaries as new patients. The findings "are comparable to last year's" AMA survey on the issue, according the AP/Post-Intelligencer.
The group in 2005 "successfully lobbied Congress to void" a scheduled payment cut, AP/Post-Intelligencer reports.
AMA President J. Edward Hill said, "Physicians want to treat seniors, but Medicare cuts are forcing physicians to make difficult practice decisions" (Freking, AP/Seattle Post-Intelligencer, 3/16).