The ink may be dry on the debt ceiling and deficit reduction agreement, but there are still plenty of questions about what it will mean for doctors. The plan to cut trillions in federal spending did not address the Sustainable Growth Rate formula (SGR), the loathed payment formula used to set Medicare physician fees. On Jan. 1, 2012, physician payments are slated to be cut by 30% because of the SGR. Some physicians say that without congressional action to avert the scheduled cut, access to health care could be in jeopardy.
Meanwhile, the debt agreement set up a bipartisan committee that will recommend additional spending cuts. This committee could take aim at Medicare, Medicaid, and the Affordable Care Act.
In other bad news for physicians, a new study in the journal Health Affairs shows that American doctors spend nearly $83,000 per year to deal with health plans and paperwork. That’s four times what their counterparts in Canada spend. For details on this and more, check out the Aug. 8 edition of the Policy & Practice Podcast.
Take a listen and share your thoughts.
The Policy & Practice team will be taking a short summer break, but check back on Aug. 22 for all the latest news on health reform and what it means for you.