Illinois Academy of Family Physicians: Cutting Medicare Payments Means Less Access to Care for Seniors Now and in the Future

Statement attributable to Steven D. Knight, MD – President, Illinois Academy of Family Physicians
http://www.businesswire.com

LISLE, Ill.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–“Family physicians are extremely disappointed and outraged by the U.S. Senate’s failure to stop the 10.6 percent cut in Medicare physician reimbursement rates that will take effect July 1. Medicare as we know it will now go from serious condition to life support. Patients here in Illinois and around the country age 65 and older who rely on Medicare will face longer waits and may have to find a new doctor to care for them.

“Illinois Senators Durbin and Obama have consistently been in support of stopping the cut. Their continuing support and leadership is critical to correcting this error.

“When Medicare cuts payment rates – many physicians across the country will have to pull the plug on their own Medicare patients. Only the largest providers have enough volume to absorb such a pay-cut and continue to see Medicare patients. Many private practice doctors won’t be able to accept new Medicare patients and may not be able to take Medicare at all.

“Families and businesses are already stretched to their limits by fuel, food and other cost of living expenses that are racing out of control. Physician practices are no different. We can’t afford to take a 10 percent cut in revenue and maintain the same level of service. Our seniors require more physician care and the numbers of seniors joining the Medicare program will explode over the next 20 years. Where will they go if too few physicians can afford to care for them?

“The Illinois Academy of Family Physicians, as well as the American Academy of Family Physicians urges Congress to follow the recommendations of Medicare providers and MedPAC to reverse these cuts now. We must come together and reconstruct the entire Medicare payment process. Medicare must change now to accurately compensate the physicians who provide the complex and compassionate care that our seniors need and deserve.â€?

EDITOR’S NOTE:

Illinois family physicians available for interviews, contact Ginnie Flynn:

Steven Knight, MD – Harrisburg

Ellen S. Brull, MD – Niles

James Cunnar, MD – Naperville

Carrie Nelson, MD – Aurora

You can read more about each of these family physicians on http://www.iafp.com/about/officers.htm

More helpful background on http://www.iafp.com/

  • Link to Video News Release about Medicare and family medicine: http://www.iafp.com/PR/ and click on “Academy in Actionâ€? video for Medicare
  • Link to Audio files about how Medicare cuts can effect specific communities of Harrisburg from Steven D. Knight, MD at http://www.iafp.com/pdfs/sknightmedicare.mp3, Gibson City from David J. Hagan, MD at http://www.iafp.com/pdfs/dhagan.mp3 and Decatur from Kathleen J. Miller, MD at http://www.iafp.com/pdfs/Kmillermedicare.mp3

The Illinois Academy of Family Physicians represents more than 4,000 family physicians, family medicine residents and medical students dedicated to excellence in family medicine and the patients they serve. Visit http://www.iafp.com/ for more information

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