Medicare patients will have a more difficult time accessing health care in 2013 if Congress fails to prevent a 26% cut in physician payments and across-the-board cuts via the budget sequester by month’s end.
The cuts will stem from the SGR, a flawed formula created by Congress 15 years ago to determine how much physicians get paid for treating Medicare patients. It has cost billions of government dollars to adjust the rate over the last 15 years to prevent drastic payment cuts to physicians, as experts agree the reimbursement cuts will cause more physicians to stop seeing Medicare patients.
Congress has the ability to include a long-term solution in year-end negotiations currently underway to avert hurting access to health care for millions of current and future beneficiaries. The repercussions of postponing a solution are even more daunting – and expensive – than addressing the issue now.
In 2005, a permanent solution would have cost less than $50 billion.
Today, that cost has ballooned to $250 billion and will double to $600 billion over five years
Ten thousand Americans will turn 65 every day for the next 19 years – doubling the number of individuals who depend on the Medicare program for their healthcare.
Source: Press Release – www.straussradio.com
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