Sunday, June 9, 2013

Medicare Red Tape Claims Another Physician Practice

Family physician Joe Mock, MD, has been caring for patients in La Porte for more than 40 years, but that’s about to change. Dr. Mock and his wife and business manager Patricia Mock told My Fox Houston that regulatory burdens and constant Medicare payment uncertainty have forced them to close Dr. Mock’s practice.

“We get paid less and less, and there’s more and more reason for [Medicare] to deny charges,” Mrs. Mock told My Fox Houston.

Dr. Mock is not the only physician being driven from a profession he or she loves due to red tape hassles and looming Medicare payment cuts. Many more doctors across the state are struggling to keep their practice open amidst decreasing payment and increasing bureaucracy. To remain afloat, many physicians consider limiting the number of Medicare patients they see. The 2012 Texas Medical Association (TMA) physician survey revealed only 58 percent of the state’s doctors say they accept all new Medicare patients, a 12-percent drop from 2010 numbers and an all-time low since TMA began surveying its members. The culprit behind this drop is the faulty formula Medicare uses to pay physicians. Doctors have faced the threat of steep Medicare payment cuts every year for more than 10 years. Once again, physicians face a nearly 30-percent cut Jan. 1, 2014.

Eighty-six year old Robert Sharp, a World War II veteran and patient of Dr. Mock’s, told My Fox Houston the dwindling number of doctors who accept Medicare patients worries his generation. “Many people my age bracket are no longer here because we fought for this country, and I don't want to see the nation go downhill,” he said.

Read the full story and watch the video at My Fox Houston.

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