Planned Medicare cuts mean many doctors, including yours, will take a drastic pay cut in January, 2013. Will your doctor refuse to see you? Will they delay your appointment? Will your doctor limit your number of visits during the year? How will your doctor deal with a 26.5% loss of pay due to Medicare cuts?
Medicare Cuts of 26.5% Will Affect You
What would you do if Congress decided to cut your Social Security check by 26.5% in January? Could you survive? Could you pay all your bills, including Medicare, doctor bills, utility bills, food, prescriptions and Medicare supplement insurance?
If you raised your hand, indicating your life would changed drastically with a 26.5% automatic reduction in your Social Security check then you know exactly how your doctor feels.
What would you eliminate from your budget? Would you stop buying and taking your medication? Would you turn off the heat? Or perhaps you might cut back on the number of times you see your doctor. Or you might postpone or call off needed treatment or surgery.
Now you have an idea of how your doctor might have to deal with upcoming Medicare cuts.
The CMS final calculation of the 2013 SGR cut at 26.5% is slightly lower than its initial projection, but it still is so large that it would negate any increase to a particular specialty from other elements of the fee schedule and further drive down pay for others who are lined up for net rate reductions.
Lawmakers have discussed a temporary delay of the pay reduction as part of an overall package addressing unresolved fiscal issues before Dec. 31. Lawmakers are scheduled to return to Washington on Nov. 13.
AMA, “Medicare finalizes physician pay”
This is not the first time. In fact, Congress has done this almost every year for the last 8 years or so. You would think they would do the job they were hired to do but apparently they feel they can ignore something as important as doctor pay. With almost 50 million citizens on Medicare, you might think this is a big deal.
Well you are right. This IS a big deal.
Will your doctor refuse to see you? Will they delay your appointment? Will your doctor limit your number of visits during the year?
The answers are yes, yes and yes.
Depending on your medical condition(s) and how busy your doctor is, you will probably be pinched in any number of ways.
When this happens your health suffers. All because Congress fails to do their job.
Medicare cuts really suck.
A multiple procedure payment reduction rule was expanded to include more advanced imaging services in the final fee schedule. The policy lowers rates by 25% for interpreting subsequent scans provided to the same patient on the same day — including instances in which two physicians in the same practice interpret images for the same patient during an office visit.
Translation, your doctor will take a pay cut unless they require you to come back to the office on a different day to read your X-ray’s or scans.
Congress doesn’t care if your doctor takes a pay cut for providing a service that is convenient with your schedule.
Medicare cuts WILL happen. You can almost bet on it.