Once More With Feeling: Dealing With the Impending Cut to Medicare Reimbursement
The intriguing “Do Nothing” option for reducing the country’s $15-trillion deficit ostensibly includes a passive stance toward a looming cut to physicians’ Medicare reimbursement on January 1. The ever-escalating SGR-defined cut, which has been stayed numerous times by Congress over the years, now exceeds a practice-killing 27%. Primary care physician Don Klitgaard in Iowa, interviewed by the Associated Press, predicts along with the rest of us that “there’s going to be a temporary fix, because the health care system is going to implode without it.” But an unidentified “senior Washington lobbyist” warns, “It’s entirely possible given past performance that Congress misses the deadline.” Compromise solutions are reportedly being entertained; they are painful, but not necessarily draconian, for physicians.
SGR = sustainable growth rate.
Image of Westall’s Sword of Damocles (1812) from Wikipedia. Meh: not a perfect analogy but close enough.