Imagine going to work and facing an imminent pay cut, but being told for six months not to worry because lots of people are working on the problem to make sure it doesnt happen. The stress of that situation certainly would affect your job performance and the trust you place in your employer.
Now, think about that situation if your job was treating sick and injured people. Could you do it? Could you continue to perform at a high level knowing that one mistake, one oversight could cost someone the life they placed in your hands? Welcome to the intersection of money and medicine in which the nations physicians are facing a nearly 11% cut in Medicare payments but are expected to continue to effectively treat Medicare recipients.
As Modern Physician reporter Jennifer Lubell tells us in this issues Top Story, physicians across the country are trying to go about their business as best they can as Congress plays catch with their financial futures. That uncertainty cant help but strain the physician-patient relationship with doctors attempting to provide the same care for less money. Many doctors are vowing to stop treating Medicare patients if the cuts go through, but we believe thats an idle threat because most physicians will continue to do their jobs out of a sense of duty to their patients.
We also have every confidence that Congress ultimately will give physicians the Medicare payment relief theyve been seeking. But, what lawmakers are putting doctors through is downright cruel. Physicians and the medical lobby should remember how theyre being treated when they go to the polls in November.
David Burda, editor, Modern Physician