Doctors and Medicare Reimbursement

Now, before everyone gets all teary eyed, I can think of no other profession that has had 20 years of salary cuts. My father made more money in 1979 as a family practitioner than the average family doctor makes today. This whole system is crazy. Ever wonder why M.D.’s are hurried and upset?

I support the AMA on this issue. I have called my Senators. We’ll see if it will do any good.

The honest truth is that our government has tried to balance the national budget on the backs of physicians for over 20 years. Since physicians are not unified and they don’t have an effective lobby, lawmakers have found it easy to crank back on payments and reimbursement for years.

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From New York Times:

Congress returns to work this week with Medicare high on the agenda and Senate Republicans under pressure after a barrage of radio and television advertisements blamed them for a 10.6 percent cut in payments to doctors who care for millions of older Americans.

The advertisements, by the American Medical Association, urge Senate Republicans to reverse themselves and help pass legislation to fend off the cut.

How to pay doctors through the federal health insurance program is an issue that lawmakers are forced to confront every year because of what is widely agreed to be an outdated reimbursement formula. But the dispute, which showcases the continued potency of health care issues, has reached a new level of urgency this year. Some doctors are reassessing their participation in the program and powerful interests on all sides are in a lobbying frenzy. (more… )