MEDICARE RUNAROUND

September 16, 2008
Michael Sheehan

Physician's Money Digest, July15 2003, Volume 10, Issue 13

After figuratively moving mountains,Congress was able to givephysicians a 1.6% boost in Medicarefees for fiscal year 2003. Althoughlawmakers thought that their effortshad also provided a permanent fixfor the Medicare reimbursement formula,that apparently is not whathappened. It now looks as thoughdoctors will face a 4.2% drop inMedicare reimbursements next year.Donald Palmisano, MD, president electof the American MedicalAssociation, said the cuts wouldadversely affect Medicare beneficiaries.Devising a formula that wouldinduce doctors to cut back on thenumber of Medicare patients theysee does not honor the promisebehind the senior-citizen health careprogram. If doctors lose moneyevery time they see a Medicarepatient, they will be driven to limit oreliminate the care they provideunder the program.