If the pending 21.2% Medicare physician payment cut goes in effect, only 42% of 1,021 osteopaths surveyed said they would continue to see their current roster of Medicare patients and only 30% of those currently accepting new Medicare patients would continue to do so.
Osteopaths would shun Medicare after cut: survey
The Benenson Strategy Group, on behalf of the American Osteopathic Association, conducted the online survey between April 28 and May 1, and the biggest concerns cited by participants were that Medicare payment rates do not increase at the same rate as medical costs; the current payment formula doesn't adequately cover the costs of care; and it is unreliable to expect that Congress' periodic short-term fixes will continue.
John Crosby, AOA executive director, noted that the cost of providing healthcare has increased 20% over the past decade while payments to physicians has increased by only 1% since 2001.
“Something has to be done about this,” said Crosby, who noted that the AOA “is pleased” with the passage of healthcare reform and strongly supported reform legislation.
Of those surveyed, 49% are in solo practice or own the practice with partners, while 18% work in a practice owned by other physicians; another 18% practice in hospitals; 13% for a private company; and 3% worked for a university or medical school.
Of those surveyed, 45% said they employed three to 10 people to perform mostly administrative functions, and it was noted that the pending payment cut was beginning to have a detrimental effect as physicians struggle to pay staff, pay rent and handle the general business costs of running a practice.
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