Major Medicare Cuts Looming - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Major Medicare Cuts Looming

Posted: Updated:
  • HealthMore>>

  • People seek out health info when famous person dies

    People seek out health info when famous person dies

    WEDNESDAY, April 23, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The deaths of well-known people offer an opportunity to educate the general public about disease detection and prevention, a new study suggests. Researchers surveyed 1,400 American men and women after Apple co-founder Steve Jobs died of pancreatic cancer in 2011 and learned that more than one-third of them sought information about his cause of death or information about cancer in general soon after his death was reported. About 7 percent of th...More >>
    WEDNESDAY, April 23, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The deaths of well-known people offer an opportunity to educate the general public about disease detection and prevention, a new study suggests. Researchers surveyed 1,400 American men and women after Apple co-founder Steve Jobs died of pancreatic cancer in 2011 and learned that more than one-third of them sought information about his cause of death or information about cancer in general soon after his death was reported. About 7 percent of th...More >>
  • Spouse's sunny outlook may be good for your health

    Spouse's sunny outlook may be good for your health

    Marriage vows often include the promise to stick together for better or for worse, and research now suggests that when it comes to your health, having an optimistic spouse is better.More >>
    Marriage vows often include the promise to stick together for better or for worse, and research now suggests that when it comes to your health, having an optimistic spouse is better.More >>
  • Mental illness not a driving force behind crime

    Mental illness not a driving force behind crime

    TUESDAY, April 22, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Less than 10 percent of crimes committed by mentally ill people are directly linked to the symptoms of their disorders, a new study shows. "When we hear about crimes committed by people with mental illness, they tend to be big headline-making crimes, so they get stuck in people's heads," said study author Jillian Peterson, a psychology professor at Normandale Community College in Bloomington, Minn. "The vast majority of people with mental illness a...More >>
    TUESDAY, April 22, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Less than 10 percent of crimes committed by mentally ill people are directly linked to the symptoms of their disorders, a new study shows. "When we hear about crimes committed by people with mental illness, they tend to be big headline-making crimes, so they get stuck in people's heads," said study author Jillian Peterson, a psychology professor at Normandale Community College in Bloomington, Minn. "The vast majority of people with mental illness a...More >>

Reported by: Britney Glaser

During a time of skyrocketing business prices, physicians are expecting another blow in just two weeks: a looming medicare crisis if action is not taken soon.

In Louisiana alone, 600,000 people depend on Medicare, but come July 1st, these elderly and disabled patients can expect less access to care.  Orthopedic surgeon and President of the Calcasieu Parish Medical Society, Dr. John Noble, explains, "Doctors who see a lot of Medicare patients will simply not be able to see any more or they will not be able to see the ones they're seeing now because they won't be able to afford to keep their offices open."

The potential Medicare crisis is stemming from a scheduled cut in physician reimbursements by more than ten percent. The cut is calculated by Congress's sustained growth rate formula.  "What they've determined," says Dr. Noble, "is that Medicare has to be expense neutral and so what has happened is that as technology has increased, then they have decreased the physician reimbursement side and obviously our expenses are not going down - our expenses are going up."

Dr. Noble and other members of the Louisiana State Medical Society were surveyed about the state of Medicare in Louisiana.  The survey found that there is a 23 percent increase in Medicare funding concerns since 1998 and that 59 percent of physicians would begin restricting the number of Medicare patients they treated if payment cuts are imposed. 

"Being a physician, I have a lot of Medicare patients," says Dr. Noble, "I am concerned that I will not be able to have primary care physicians taking care of my patients. As the President of the Medical Society, I have to represent my delegation and they tell me they cannot sustain these sorts of decreases in reimbursements."

In Washington, D.C. this week, an attempt to bring a Medicare Payment Bill to the senate floor for debate was blocked.  Dr. Noble says for the 40 million patients depending on Medicare for health coverage - and for the physicians providing the services - this is a very serious issue.  "This is not just a state issue, it's affecting every one in the country," says Dr. Noble, "and something really needs to be done."

*To let your voice be heard about the impact of Medicare cuts, click here to contact your congressperson.

Powered by WorldNow