Sequester Cuts: Payments to Medicare Doctors
Due to the sequester, doctors face a 2% cut in Medicare reimbursements:
The bottom line is that doctors who treat Medicare beneficiaries will only be reimbursed 98 cents on every dollar for a vast array of services. Reimbursement for low-income beneficiaries is exempt.
...The cuts could make it harder for patients to get care, [AMA President Jeremy] Lazarus added. "One in five Medicare patients already is facing difficulties in finding a doctor to take them. If you cut their pay, this access problem will only get worse."
Another doctor says:
"At some point, we will do what we have to if it means keeping the practice afloat," said [internist David] Wilt. "This includes reducing the number of patients whose payments are too low for us to run our business."
If the private insurance companies do the same, as often happens, things could get even worse for elderly patients:
"Small practices, especially in rural areas, are small businesses that run on razor thin margins...These cuts will force them to make a choice. Do we keep seeing the elderly or do we keep our practice afloat."
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