Monday, November 15, 2010

Metapost: This is going to drive me to drink...

Okay, it's not a long drive, but...

I don't usually talk about what I do on social media outlets, but sometimes I feel it's warranted, and this is one of those times. As you've probably heard, an old law is going to cause the Medicare reimbursement rates to healthcare providers to be cut by around 25% if it's not stopped by our lovely Congress.

"Sure," you may be thinking, "this will impact healthcare access for the over 65 crowd, but how will it affect me?"

If you're over 65, you're probably thinking, "I'm screwed."

The problem is, as an auxiliary healthcare provider, I'm also thinking, "I'm screwed." Why? Because the rest of managed care bases reimbursement rates on Medicare rates, never mind that they supposedly have antitrust laws. You know that they're salivating over this because it will mean even more billions in profit for them. In the end, if it's not stopped in a timely manner, it could mean a 25% reimbursement cut for me.

"Sure," you may be thinking, "but won't they go back up if the law is corrected later, and Medicare reimbursement goes back up?"

That's the thing about insurance companies -- once rates drop, they RARELY go back up, and they've been on a steady decline for years even though operational and overhead costs for providers keep increasing.

So here, I'll make it easy for you. Here is what I've written to my Senators and House Rep:

Dear ,

I am writing to request that you make halting the Medicare reimbursement cuts a priority. If they are not stopped, they will impact both the ability of senior citizens to access care and will cause a ripple effect through the healthcare industry, as the other companies base their rates off of Medicare.

One important consideration is that most healthcare and mental healthcare private practices are small businesses, and this is one of the few economic areas where growth is anticipated. The Medicare rate cuts, if they go through, will only serve to make them cut staff and shrink the main industry the country is depending on for growth.

Thank you for your time and consideration!


Yes, that's right, cut staff. Do you already allow two hours for a routine doctor's visit? Better make it four or just take the day. Oh, you're sick? The doctor will be able to see you in a few months instead of six weeks (yeah, that's already an issue, but not in my practice). Got a billing problem? Oh, sorry, it's going to take a while to get back to you because the billing departments are short-staffed.

For the Georgia people, here are some important links:

Contact form for Senator Isakson: Click Here

Contact form for Senator Chambliss: Click Here

Your House Rep will depend on where you live.

Please please please bug your Congresspeople! This is one of the few times when government inaction could affect EVERYBODY.



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