The Chopping Block, Cutting Medicare

The Chopping Block, Cutting Medicare_6099057301677426218

It’s a federal programthat’s been around since Lyndon Johnson was president in 19-65. But with tightfiscal times the federal government is trying to cut back on Medicare funding.And in particular funding to hospitals that employ physicians. “The biggestproblem is its disproportionate hurt in other words this isn’t pain that’sspread around to hospitals across the United States. It’s pain that isdisproportionately felt by institutions such as ours, which in our case weemploy all our physicians so every one of those 700,000 visits is to a hospitalbased physician and every Medicare visit would be impacted.” The proposedlegislation would cut Medicare funding by 27% and here at Bassett MedicalCenter that means millions in federal funding. “This is not new for us tobe looking at things but the magnitude in particular cut would be so substantialthat we would have to be looking at all kinds of things and I can’t reallyoutline specific services and specific clinics that would be in jeopardy butclearly we would have to take at, the impact would be devastating.” On the surface it appears doctors will be affected butexperts say in the end its the patients that will hurt the most. “Ifyou detract for the ability of those physicians to practice, fi there are fewerof them practicing then that safety net really becomes eroded for patients whoneed that care the most.”

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