Physicians to lobby hard on pending Medicare cut

Groups representing the nation's medical doctors are expected to lobby Congress hard when it reconvenes in November regarding cuts in Medicare reimbursements as high as 30 percent that will take effect Dec. 1.

The American Medical Association and 89 national and state medical societies sent a letter to Congress on Sept. 29 asking for a stabilization in Medicare reimbursement, according to American Medical News.

"Hundreds of thousands of physicians will be considering whether they can continue accepting Medicare rates at the same time that massive payment cuts are scheduled to take effect," the letter stated. "We can anticipate that many physicians will be examining whether it makes sense to continue their current relationship with Medicare given the severe disruptions."

AMA President Cecil B. Wilson, M.D., said some physicians may limit the number of Medicare patients they take into their practices if the cuts go into effect.

Some physician organizations are hoping for Republicans to take back Congress in the mid-term elections, believing that a legislative turnover will give them momentum for a 13-month moratorium on payment cuts--enough time to draw up a long-term solution. However, there is also widespread belief that Democratic lawmakers want to stabilize payments in the long run as well.

For more:
- read the American Medical News article
- read The Hill Healthwatch article