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Medicare cuts may force practices to limit patients

Physician Practice Advisor, September 13, 2006

Thirty-nine percent of medical group practices said they may be forced to limit the number of Medicare patients they see if a proposed 5.1% cut to physician Medicare reimbursement moves forward, a survey by the Medical Group Management Association (MGMA) revealed. The survey included responses from more than 1,600 MGMA members, representing more than 34,000 practicing physicians.

Respondents also said the proposed cut could lead to the following consequences at their practice:

  • 39% said they would lay off clinical staff in 2007
  • 54% would lay off administrative or support staff in 2007
  • 67% said they would modify or eliminate health benefit coverage for their own employees

"These responses reflect the seriousness of the operating environment confronting physician practices," William F. Jessee, MD, FACMPE, president and CEO of MGMA said in a press release. "It's vital that Medicare beneficiaries have adequate access to the full range of medical services in their communities. But if medical practices are to continue providing high-quality care, they may have to make some very painful decisions in order to stay financially viable."

Click here to access the MGMA press release.