Thursday, July 5, 2007

A Reuters report on MSNBC relates that there has been a 20% increase in hospital and doctor visits since 2002. The article claims

The reason is clear — Americans are getting older. “When you reach 50 things start going wrong, just little by little, and you keep going back to the doctors,” Burt said.
Now, predictably, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has announced a 10% reduction in the fee schedule for Doctors and other health care providers. That's artificially control the cost of providing social insurance to our aging baby boomers, CMS wants to just cut how much they pay. Forget that they are already to lowest reimbursers (well, UHC is getting close to that honor in Physical Therapy) and now they want to pay even less. Anecdotally, many physicians report the costs of providing routine care (salaries, paperwork, compliance measures, etc) are just covered by what Medicare reimburses (read - MD's maybe break break even). Drop that 10% and more MD's will surely exercise their ability to opt out of treating Medicare patients. I'll let you all ponder the consequence of that.


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