News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Opinion

February 2, 2013

READERS' FORUM: Feb. 2, 2013

Medicare cuts would cost jobs

In recognition of Medical Group Practice Week observed Jan. 21-28, I am writing you to urge your readers to contact their state senators to support the nullification of the Medicare Sequester Cut and the SGR formula, both of which will greatly affect the practices of the outstanding physician groups that are in much need in those communities you serve.

According to a study conducted by Pittsburgh research firm Tripp Umbach, these cuts would significantly impact the health care industry, leading to large job losses in physician offices and health care systems, as well as in their local communities where they practice. The Medicare Sequester Cut of 2 percent would alone lead to the elimination of 496,000 jobs in 2013, the study estimated.

Additionally, the Medicare Sequester Cut and SGR Formula will undoubtedly limit access of care to our nation’s senior population. American senior citizens are having difficulty finding physicians accepting Medicare payments, as financial restraints from cuts in Medicare reimbursements have led many practices to limit the Medicare patients they care for. These additional changes restrict care access even more and will hurt the practices that were previously able to serve Medicare patients.

Furthermore, despite these proposals for reimbursement cuts, physicians are still expected to participate in Medicare programs such as the E-prescribing Program and the Physician Quality Reporting Program, and they risk financial penalty if they do not. These proposals put physicians in a position for not only a loss of patients, staff, and financial stability, but also set them up for potential penalties if they are unable to support the mandated Medicare programs.

When the Medicare Sequester Cut and SGR Formula again are scheduled for review, I strongly recommend you consider the negative effects they could have on both physicians practicing in our communities and the Medicare population of the United States, and I urge you and your readers to show your senators that you support their nullifications.

— William Deary, CEO

Great Lakes Caring Home Health & Hospice

Jackson, Mich.

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