More on what Medicare reimbursement cuts will do. “When such cuts are imposed, the usual response is to either order more procedures so as to not reduce overall revenue reimbursements received by the practice or to cut back on the Medicare load by refusing to take on more senior clients. Medicare patients are, generally speaking, the highest-maintenance patients for a number of reasons. Their age makes them vulnerable to more ailments and time isn’t as much a pressing factor, which means they can make more appointments. In fact, many top docs already are reducing their Medicare patient load or refusing to accept new Medicare patients. Therefore, as you turn 65 and retire, you might find it difficult to find a regular family physician unless you already have an established relationship with a practice or a doctor.”

More here: “Villarreal said the cuts would make it even more difficult to maintain a practice in the Valley, which already is medically underserved.

‘As much as I don’t like to say it, (medicine is) still a business, and we have to pay our bills,’ she said. ‘To break even, some doctors will have to see more patients.’

And that means even longer waits.

‘Some already wait for two to three hours sometimes,’ Villarreal said. ‘Some doctors are seeing 60 or 70 patients a day.’

Others might stop accepting new Medicare patients, the American Medical Association predicts. An AMA survey reported that 38 percent of U.S. physicians will stop taking Medicare patients if the cuts take effect.

‘The result will be less and less access to care,’ Gunby said.”

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