More than 40 percent of physicians participating in a single-question online poll said they feel the U.S. government “never will” understand how declining reimbursement rates from Medicare negatively affect the care patients receive from their physicians.
(1) Physicians fear reimbursements will continue to decline in the coming years, reducing patient access to physicians;
(2) Physicians are concerned that they will not be able to continue treating Medicare patients due to financial losses they incur from the program’s low reimbursement rates;
(3) Many physicians indicate they want to pursue a similar cash-only policy as the Mayo Clinic of Arizona has adopted (Note: Mayo began the year by announcing it plans to drop Medicare as a third-party payer for primary care in 2010 after reporting losses of $840 million from Medicare in 2009); and
(4) Physicians fear that the federal and state governments will attempt to force participation in the program by tying state licensure to Medicare/Medicaid acceptance and, say that, if forced to participate in a money-losing venture, they would seek alternative employment.