Long-term Medicare Reform Needed
Every time your doctor provides care for a patient on Medicare, he or she is reimbursed by the Medicare program. Think of it this way: your doctor runs a small business—his or her medical practice. But while the costs of doing business continue to go up—paying nurses, investing in new health care technology, purchasing new medical equipment—the Medicare payments your doctor receives are going down.
In fact, on January 1, 2014, the Medicare physician payment cut will be nearly 25 percent! These cuts are a problem for you and your family because an AMA survey shows that these drastic cuts in Medicare payments threaten patients’ access to care as more and more doctors are forced to stop taking on new Medicare patients, or even continue to see existing ones.
Congress is playing a dangerous game of Russian roulette with seniors’ health care. It is crucial Congress acts well before the January 1 deadline so there are no disruptions in care for seniors.
The vicious cycle of short-term patches and delays that increase the size of the cut and the cost of reform for American taxpayers must come to an end. Sick patients can’t wait. Congress must replace the broken payment system before the damage is done and cannot be reversed.
Tell your members of Congress what you think of their playing legislative games with your health care. Use the toll-free hotline at (888) 434-6200.
Consider some of these alarming survey results:
- 60% of all doctors say a Medicare cut will force them to decrease or stop seeing new Medicare patients and to discontinue nursing home visits.
- A majority of doctors in rural communities say they will no longer be able to conduct important outreach services due to nine years of projected cuts.
- Nearly 3 out of 4 doctors say the Medicare cuts will force them to delay purchasing critical new medical equipment.
- 65% of doctors say the Medicare cuts will force them to delay purchase of new health care technology.
Many doctors also reported that more Medicare patients are now being treated in emergency rooms for conditions that could have been treated in a physician’s office, that it’s gotten harder to refer patients to certain medical and surgical specialists, and that many seniors now have to travel further for needed medical care.
All this, just as Baby Boomers are about to enter into the Medicare system. Watch Dr. Mark Laitos talk about what these cuts really mean to patients and their doctors. Then tell your story. Use our hotline at (888) 434-6200.