>From the TMA comes another reason to distrust Government healthcare, the “negative update:“
Unless Congress pulls its usual trick of averting disaster at the last minute, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will lower physicians’ Medicare fees 10.1 percent on Jan. 1. For some services in some parts of the country – including much of Texas – the cut will be even deeper.
Buried in the seventh paragraph of a CMS news release touting its plans to “improve accuracy of Medicare payment and give physicians and health care professionals additional financial incentives to provide higher quality and value in the delivery of care” is this:
“The Medicare law includes a statutory formula requiring CMS to implement a negative 10.1 percent update in payment rates for physician-related services. This formula compares the actual rate of growth in spending to a target rate, which is based on such factors as the growth in the number of Medicare fee-for-service beneficiaries and statutory or regulatory changes in benefits. CMS has no choice but to implement this negative update because it is mandated by a statutory formula.”
If it was difficult to find a doctor for Medicare eligible patients this year, it will be much harder next year.