Saturday, February 27, 2010

21% Cuts: The perfect storm?

If you have had your head in the sand or too immersed in patient care issues, our fearless lesaders have let the Medicare's SGR proceed and with it a 21% cut in Medicare reimbursements to doctors across the board.  Whether you take Medicare or not, no matter what your payer mix may be, this affects you dramatically.  For many, if not most of us, our private payer contracts are tied to Medicare rates.  So  in essence, you can expect a 21% cut in gross payments while the private insurance companies have just recieved a 21% windfall.

Do you have chest pain yet?

How will you survive?

Well, you may not.  This may reresent the perfect storm, the trifecta of bad luck that has befallen the American doctor: rising liaility inurance rates, falling reimbursements, a severe recession. 

Or you could try some of the following:

  1. Stop seeing Medicare patients.  Not out of protest, but because these patients are too sick and labor intensive to care for and still make money.
  2. Increase volume.
  3. Go ou of network with some private plans.  This works better if you are a primary care doctor or a specialist that sees emegency room patients.
  4. Re-negotiate your contractswith the private payers.  Good luck with this one, but you never know.
  5. Merge, merge, merge.  If the other strategies don't work, this drastic move may be the only viable approach. 
Good luck and let me know how it goes.

Dr Schoor

Friday, February 26, 2010

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Prevent the Cuts!

Contact congress now.  If you live in Long Island, see these links.

Congressman Israel, from Huntington:

Congressman Bishop, Smithtown and Brookhaven:

The Speaker of the House:

Senator Schumer, NY:

Senator Gillebrand, NY:

These people work for you!  Contact them and ask them to reverse these devastating cuts.

Dr Schoor

Never Back and Animal Into a Corner

With devastating cuts to Medicare looming to take effect March 1st, us doctors are taking our message to everyone.  We will not go down without a fight.  This is a letter I sent to ALL of my Medicare age patients.

Dear friend,
MEDICARE is under threat!
Unless we take action now, congress will allow MEDICARE to drop reimbursements to all
doctors by 21.6% effective March 1st.  For most of your doctors, that would account for greater
than 20% loss of the practice's total income; income that we use to pay our staff, purchase office
supplies, pay for our equipment, care for you, and support our families and the local economy.
If the US Congress allows the drop to go through on March 1st, many of your doctors, like your
internist, family practitioner, endocrinologist, urologist, dermatologist, and others, simply will no
longer be able to survive and remain in practice.  Those that can weather the storm will be forced
to make drastic cutbacks in services to Medicare beneficiaries or drop out of Medicare altogether.

I implore you to contact your local representative to the US Congress and ask them to prevent
MEDICARE from proceeding with the devastating 21.6% cut to the physician fee schedule.
Feel free to contact me directly if you have any questions or would like to know who to contact.
You can email me at
Or visit for links to members of congress.
Do it now!  Our beloved MEDICARE depends on our action.
Dr Schoor