BURR RIDGE, Ill., March 23 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — In a survey published by the North American Spine Society (NASS), as many as 24 percent of spine care physicians participating in Medicare indicated they will no longer participate in the program if the mandated reductions in Medicare reimbursement to physicians occur later this year. Additionally, more than one-third of those surveyed would opt out of Medicare for two years and privately contract with Medicare patients.
Of the physicians planning to remain in Medicare, more than 90 percent would make changes to their practice in the next twelve months should cuts go into effect. Changes include:
- 20.6% would limit the number of Medicare patient appointments;
- 14% would reduce time spent with Medicare patients;
- 12.9% would stop providing certain services; and
- 11% would begin referring complex cases.
The survey was conducted over the past two weeks, with 340 NASS members taking part.
“These findings are indicative of the fears resonating among physicians nationwide,” said NASS President Ray Baker, MD. “Health care reform efforts on Capitol Hill through H.R. 3590, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, are not addressing the most immediate concerns of physicians that stand to have a significant impact on our Medicare patients.”
Although supportive of the need for health care reform, NASS strongly opposes H.R. 3590 because it will ultimately harm the quality of our nation’s health care and decrease physicians’ ability to provide specialty care for their patients.
“Not only does this bill fail to address Medicare’s broken sustainable growth rate payment system, it creates a new Independent Payment Advisory Board, which would make arbitrary cuts in physician reimbursement with little or no Congressional oversight, lacks proven medical liability reforms, and penalizes physicians who do not participate in Medicare’s flawed quality reporting program,” said Raj Rao, MD, NASS Advocacy Committee Chairman.
The North American Spine Society is a multidisciplinary medical organization dedicated to fostering the highest quality, evidence-based, and ethical spine care by promoting education, research, and advocacy. NASS is comprised of more than 5,500 members from several disciplines including orthopedic surgery, neurosurgery, physiatry, neurology, radiology, anesthesiology, research, physical therapy and other spine care professionals.
SOURCE North American Spine Society