Monday, March 12, 2012

More Doctors Leave Medicare

Since 2007, the number of Texas doctors who opt out of Medicare each year has soared to triple digits, reports the Houston Chronicle. Last year, that number was 164. That’s 164 fewer doctors to take care of Texas’ seniors, people with disabilities, and military families. The number does not include doctors who limit or stop accepting new Medicare patients.

Bruce Malone, MD, president of the Texas Medical Association (TMA), told the Houston Chronicle that those 164 doctors are just “the tip of the iceberg … things are going to get worse before they get better.” Physician reimbursement for Medicare patients will take a 32-percent cut at the end of this year if Congress doesn’t fix the flawed formula used to determine how much doctors are paid for taking care of Medicare patients. A TMA survey revealed half of Texas’ doctors would consider opting out of Medicare if this cut goes into effect.

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