One-third of physicians may leave Medicare if reimbursement is cut. “The AMA has laid out the prospect of a major exodus of physicians from Medicare if Congress doesn’t rescind or modify plans to cut Part B payments to physicians by 4.4% next January. And this time, said the AMA, it’s serious.

AMA officers said today that they expect about a third of physicians to stop accepting new Medicare patients if the pay cut goes into effect on New Year’s Day.”

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  • Anonymous

    Instead of wasting our time, we should just stop accepting medicare and let the patients deal with medicare. I bet the government will become much more “receptive”.

  • Anonymous

    Unfortunately, we are rapidly approaching an era in which doctors will have only 2 choices:

    1) accept what medicare pays
    2) dont practice medicine

    Think about it folks. Medicare already controls 50% of all healthcare dollars in the USA. By the year 2020, that figure is expected to approach 80%.

    Medicare will soon be the “only game in town” and you will either have to accept what they pay, or choose a new profession.

  • Anonymous


  • Anonymous

    Unfortunately, we are rapidly approaching an era when Medicare will be the “only game in town.”

    Medicare already controls 50% of all healthcare dollars. By 2020, that number will be 80%.

    By then, doctors will have no choice but to accept what Medicare offers, because they healthcare will be a de facto government run monopoly with sufficient market share to engage in outright price fixing.

  • EvinMS3

    In the future it will be virtually impossible to maintain a reasonable income in one’s practice if medicare reimbursement continue to decline. Don’t forget to factor in the cost of inflation, rising malpractice insurance, and for those unfortunate souls who happen to be entering medical school, the ski-rocketing cost of education. I fear that medicine will no longer attract the best and brightest to the field. Who wants to work ridiculous hours with out reasonable compensation. We will all suffer for this in the long-run..

  • Anonymous

    There is another option : quit contracting with all health insurance plans. Shift the burden to patients, since they are the clients of health insurance plans. Physicians are concerned the income will drop. Maybe, but so will the overhead. You will be able to cut the number of patients you see and also cut the office staff. A physician will be able to function with one employee and even without, for the solo practitioner. Think how much overhead an insurance generates. Once enough physicians will adopt this style, we will regain the dignity and independence. But things won’t get better until they will get worse.

  • Anonymous

    Opting out may be more viable than some posters above speculate. Refusing new Medicare patients may be the mildest result of these cuts. Possible wholesale rejection of under-reimbursing and under-performing plans, including Medicare and private plans, demand for full and up-front cash payment may replace the easy terms many patients have become accustomed to receiving. Where is it carved in stone that doctors have to file claims at no charge to the patients? More vigorous assessment of charges for anything not directly related to patient care, and shorter grace periods to accounts settlement will become not just prudent but necessary.

    Medicare functions under the assumption that doctors cannot live without Part B. That isn’t true.
    My guess is that it will take less than fifteen percent of doctors opting out of Medicare to upend the system as it exists, and the political blowback to which ever party is in power when that day comes will be an historic spectacle.

  • Anonymous

    So much for the President’s initiative for EMRs. Who is going to drop six-figure sums into EMR conversions when the reimbursement isn’t even holding steady; why not ask us to hold the matches while they are stacking the wood around us?

    This is more likely to give incentive for doctors to reorganize their practices around doing without Medicare altogether rather than dump money into systems that convenience Medicare and insurance companies.

    If patients really want to have portable electronic medical files, some enterprising digital archivist will make a retail model to provide just that. Who said that the input had to be done with the labor and at the expense of the medical practices?

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