Saturday, May 25, 2013

Medicare increasingly tough on doctors

Medicare increasingly tough on doctors

One physician says it's going to be impossible for her to remain in Medicare because of the new paperwork, regulations and costs associated with the program.

As doctors are faced with the expansion of Medicare, pay cuts, and red tape associated with the federal healthcare overhaul, some are thinking twice about remaining in the program.
Dr. Alieta Eck, the immediate past president of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS), says she enjoys taking care of her elderly patients, many who are forced to enroll in Medicare. Because of that, she has continued to cooperate with Medicare. But with new mandates added continually, she tells OneNewsNow she will soon be forced to make a tough decision.
"All that's required of me is becoming so burdensome that I will either see my patients, or fill out all the forms required," she laments. "But I probably can't do both."
Eck reports that Medicare has introduced another mandate called The Physician Quality Reporting System, or PQRS. By 2014, doctors must record patient illnesses or injuries using new digits and numbers. Current electronic medical records will be updated, which is costly for individual physicians, so Eck fears that only doctors who are part of hospitals or groups will be able to survive the changes.
"It's not clear at all why the government has a vested interest in such technology, but perhaps it's related to the fact that they want me to put my electronic medical records online," the physician poses. "That means the whole record, and that's a red line that I will not cross."
The New Jersey-based doctor concludes that patient records are for doctors to offer better care for their patients -- not for a federal bureaucracy to review and store.

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