Friday, March 21, 2008

Medicare - Riding the Medicare Tiger

He who rides the Tiger can never dismount

Chinese Proverb

What - The MGMA, whose 21,500 members lead and manage 13,500 groups with 270,000 physicians, say 46% of physicians will either limit or stop accepting new Medicare patients in light of anticipated 10.6% reduction scheduled for June 2008 and 5.4% in 2009.

Why – Over last 9 years, overall Medicare payments have fallen 1.5% while Consumer Price Index is up 25.1% and operating costs of running practice is up 43,1%.This is important because it is certain to cause political outrage if doctors stop seeing new Medicare patients. New Medicare patients who expect to be covered after paying in over their lifetime. Medicare cuts will exaggerate physician shortage. In Medicare’s eyes, the cuts are necessary to keep its costs from devouring the federal budget.

- 10.6% cuts are scheduled for June 2008, with another 5.4% to follow in 2009.

How - It will probably take heavy lobbying by physician organizations, AARP, and other consumer groups tied to Medicare to reduce cuts.

Where – Everywhere.

Who - Will effect all physicians serving Medicare patients. According to MGMA, more than half are already reducing administrative and clinical staff and limiting hiring, and two-thirds will sacrifice or postpone Information Technology (IT) and equipment purchases. They may choose not to see new Medicare patients, But those sitting atop the old Medicare tiger will have a hard time dismounting. These patients need care and cannot be abandoned.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Is there a way to find a more expanded version of the information from MGMA online?