An eleventh-hour deal struck by Congress in July narrowly averted a huge, 10.6-percent cut in physician Medicare fees. In place of that cut, Congress approved extension of a 0.5-percent increase for the remainder of 2008 and a 1.1-percent hike for 2009. Texas physicians say the action, which required an override of a presidential veto, is good news for patients’ access to care. But they say the increases are not enough to keep doctors in the Medicare program unless Congress acts soon to come up with a permanent fix to Medicare’s flawed payment system.
Read more about the temporary Medicare payment fix and how an early vote on that measure led TEXPAC to rescind its endorsement of a Texas senator in an article in the September issue of Texas Medicine.
In this installment of Podcast TMA, TMA President Josie Williams, MD, and El Paso surgeon Manuel Acosta, MD, chair of TEXPAC, discuss why canceling the 10.6-percent cut was so critical for Medicare patients and their doctors, as well as TEXPAC’s decision regarding its endorsement of Sen. John Cornyn.
This installment covers:
- The impact of the temporary fee fix on physicians and their patients.
- TEXPAC’s action to rescind the Cornyn endorsement.
- Whether the meager increases approved for 2008 and 2009 will be enough to keep physicians in the Medicare program.
- Organized medicine’s goals for a permanent resolution to the Medicare payment system.
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