Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

Psychiatrists Rally to Block Medicare Pay Cut Proposal

Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

Psychiatrists Rally to Block Medicare Pay Cut Proposal

Article excerpt

A proposed 21 % cut in Medicare payments to physicians should not go forward, according to Dr. James H. Scully Jr., medical director and CEO of the American Psychiatric Association.

In letters to Congress sent in" mid-November, Dr. Scully urged the members to pass legislation that would block the proposed cut in Medicare payments to physicians.

"Reductions of this magnitude are in no one's best interest, least of all the 44 million Americans who depend on Medicare for their health care needs, or the military families under TRICARE with payments based on Medicare rates," Dr. Scully wrote. "We respectfully submit that there are at least 44 million reasons why you should support the bill."

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services in late October issued the final physician fee schedule for 2010, and, as expected, Medicare reimbursement will be reduced by 21% overall unless Congress intervenes. For some specialties, the cuts could be even deeper, thanks to a revamping of the relative value assigned to each specialty and to reductions in medical imaging payments.

But primary care physicians are pleased, as the fee schedule makes good on the agency's promise to assign a higher value to their services. …

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