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Thu Jan 5, 2012, 09:05 PM

Doctors going broke ( and how imminent Medicare cuts are making it worse) [View all]

I just read 2 articles that deserve attention for all of us who rely on small practice doctors.

First article:
"Half of all doctors in the nation operate a private practice. So if a cash crunch forces the death of an independent practice, it robs a community of a vital health care resource.

"A lot of independent practices are starting to see serious financial issues," said Marc Lion, CEO of Lion & Company CPAs, LLC, which advises independent doctor practices about their finances.

Doctors list shrinking insurance reimbursements, changing regulations, rising business and drug costs among the factors preventing them from keeping their practices afloat. But some experts counter that doctors' lack of business acumen is also to blame."

and what is adding to that cash crunch? Decreasing Medicare payments, set to go into effect this month.

"The payroll tax impasse in Congress has put Medicare doctors on edge over the likelihood that their pay could be slashed 27.4% in two weeks time.

Under current law, health care providers to the nation's 45 million Medicare beneficiaries -- including physicians, nurse practitioners, physical therapists and podiatrists -- face reduced government reimbursement payments on Jan. 1."

and this part:
"Federal law requires that Medicare reimbursement rates be adjusted annually based on a formula tied to the health of the economy. That law says rates should be cut every year to keep Medicare financially sound.

Although Congress has blocked those cuts from happening 13 times over the past decade, most recently on Dec. 23 with a two-month temporary "patch," this dilemma continues to haunt doctors every year."

Now, look at the growing number of over 65 people who have reduced income, depend on Medicare, and depend on small dr. practices for their health services., especially those of us who live in rural/small town areas.

Not a rosy picture. Already one of the 3 dr. offices in town here is reducing staff.

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Reply Doctors going broke ( and how imminent Medicare cuts are making it worse) [View all]
dixiegrrrrl Jan 2012 OP
RKP5637 Jan 2012 #1
Cleita Jan 2012 #5
Cleita Jan 2012 #2
RKP5637 Jan 2012 #3
Cleita Jan 2012 #4
RKP5637 Jan 2012 #6
Cleita Jan 2012 #8
xocet Jan 2012 #23
RKP5637 Jan 2012 #24
SheilaT Jan 2012 #20
Cleita Jan 2012 #21
SheilaT Jan 2012 #25
Scuba Jan 2012 #7
dflprincess Jan 2012 #9
slipslidingaway Jan 2012 #10
marmar Jan 2012 #11
dixiegrrrrl Jan 2012 #12
RKP5637 Jan 2012 #13
DeSwiss Jan 2012 #18
JDPriestly Jan 2012 #14
dixiegrrrrl Jan 2012 #15
Stuart G Jan 2012 #16
tpsbmam Jan 2012 #17
dixiegrrrrl Jan 2012 #19
MindMover Jan 2012 #22