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Do Medicare And Medicaid Payment Rates Really Threaten Physicians with Bankruptcy?


October 2nd, 2012
by James Rickert

Physicians for years now have claimed that their practices lose money when treating Medicare or Medicaid patients. Doctors use these assertions to portray themselves as yearning to offer treatment to the elderly or indigent but unable to do so due to economic realities. The specter of bankruptcy is often invoked. Recent studies suggest that physicians may not fully participate in treating the newly insured Medicaid patients resulting from the Affordable Care Act.

The reasons physicians typically give for such refusals revolve around the notion that accepting new Medicaid or Medicare patients would bankrupt their practices. Rarely, if ever, are such assertions questioned in the general press. Doctors regularly employ this argument to forestall any reductions in physician reimbursement.

Are such claims justified, or are they used as a smokescreen when refusing care to some individuals for reasons other than economic survival? The answer to this question depends on the specialty of the physician.

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Patient-Centered Care: What It Means And How To Get There


January 24th, 2012
by James Rickert

At a recent symposium concerning both saving money and improving patient care, Health Affairs Editor-in Chief Susan Dentzer stated, “It is well established now that one can in fact improve the quality of health care and reduce the costs at the same time.”  This is exactly the principle behind the growing movement toward patient-centered care.  […]

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Physician Payment Reform: An Opportunity To Bolster Primary Care


September 7th, 2011
by James Rickert

With the Budget Control Act of 2011 now signed into law, health care lobbyists are preparing to fight any changes to federal programs that affect their constituents.  One particular concern for physicians is the scheduled 30 percent cut to Medicare reimbursement mandated by the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula. Any attempt to waive these cuts will need […]

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A Call For Physicians To Contribute To Solutions, Not Costs


July 29th, 2011
by James Rickert

 It’s time for America’s physicians, particularly its highly paid procedural specialists, to make a choice.  Are we primarily businessmen with a keen eye on the financial bottom line, or are we above all professionals, well versed in the healing arts and dedicated to our patients’ care, regardless of their circumstances?  America’s medical system is breaking […]

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