Risk of ‘Mass Exodus’ of Doctors from Medicare

New law’s success or failure will ‘profoundly influence the future of the U.S. health care system’.

LifeZette:  In what may be the most significant modification to Medicare since the program began in 1966, on Oct. 15, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released the final rule for implementing the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA). It dramatically changes how Medicare pays doctors for their services.

Does it really matter how doctors get paid? Yes — the success or failure of the new payment system will profoundly influence the future of the U.S. health care system. And while the goals of MACRA are laudable, its implementation carries a number of unknowns and the potential for unintended consequences — for patients and doctors alike.

Before MACRA, Medicare used a fee-for-service payment system, reimbursing separately for each individual service provided, without regard to the quality of the care. The new system will reward doctors for providing high-quality, efficient care that leads to better patient outcomes, and penalize those who fail to do so. At least — that’s the idea.

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15 Comments on Risk of ‘Mass Exodus’ of Doctors from Medicare

  1. The partnership of inane Government factotum’s meddling with the medical field has been such a glorious success let’s have even more of it!

  2. I don’t know why physicians accept Medicare today. Just got my MIL’s statement from her supplemental insurer for charges in June and July. She had a broken arm and torn rotator cuff.

    Just one example: Ortho charged $95 for X-rays. Medicare allowed $28.60, paid $22.79 and supplemental picked up the extra $5.81.

  3. TO jclady

    The reason that “ortho” charged $95 in the first place is due to all the unreasonable US Gov’t. bureaucracy in the first place. In most other countries, the cost *might* be closer to that $30….

  4. @Czar — I understand. Here’s my heartburn. I broke my foot this summer. Went to the same ortho. My insurance company paid full price.

    This is what’s wrong with our system. If you’re on Medicare or have no insurance, costs are minimum. If you have insurance, your plan is paying for you and everyone else.

  5. I just want to walk into a doctor’s office (Pancreas R Us, for example) and just be seen for what I need.
    I don’t want insurance for little shit. I don’t want to pay for someone’s drug addiction treatments, someone’s tranny ops, or someone’s eye lift, and someone’s prostate exam. MY own health is what I’m paying for. Not a group of trannies with shriveled prostates and bad eyesight in counseling for their addiction to codeine and Zima.

  6. This shift in payment to doctors means less medical care for the average person. Lets say that you need bypass surgery, but your heart is not in good shape, that is the person who will benefit the most from the surgery. But it is also the person who will have the greatest risk. You don’t get the surgery that would add years to your life because the surgeon is not going to do it and have his mortality and morbidity numbers go up. In short, you die. You go to your doctor and have an elevate cholesterol. Emerging data says that is no big deal as cholesterol does not cause any disease. But, the drug companies like to sell drugs and they give Hillary money and then the quality marker says you have to be on a statin. No big deal right, wrong, statins are poison and only the drug companies don’t know that.
    So, in the end, you get it in the end.

  7. Our office does not take Medicaid. It is not worth it. The reimbursement paid to us is so small, we would make more flipping burgers in New Jersey.

  8. @david7134 – We share the same concern. How will the bureaucrats come up with a workable and potentially accurate way to factor in risk factors so that doc won’t have an incentive to walk away from the tough cases? How will the bureaucrats fairly assign a MRSA death to central sterile supply, or to the OR, or to the surgeon, or to the nursing staff, or to housekeeping?

  9. Uncle all
    This system had a trial run about two decades ago. It failed big time. It is back now as the only way to decrease the national health care bill is to limit access. In the case of MRSA that will be a total hospital liability with a denial of payment.

  10. Dawn Bethea , Dang, Talk to us. I’m picking up a certain amount of despiration. Hang in there, hopefully Trumps in charge soon. Stay on this site.

  11. HEALTH CARE IN OTHER 1st WORLD COUNTRIES.

    1) 8 days in hospital
    2) no surgery
    3) CT Scan
    4) I.V. antibiotics
    5) doctor visits
    6) nurse care
    7) 8 man room for non-contageous problems
    8) food
    9) take home medicine

    COST: $750.

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