US Pharm. 2007;32(9):66.

Pharmacists' professional brethren will finally feel what has been happening to them over the years. As a result of a projected 9.9% physician fee cut in Medicare Part B payments in January, the chairman of the AMA Board of Trustees is predicting that the proposed reimbursement cuts will affect the number of Medicare patients physicians will treat.

According to Cecil B. Wilson, MD, chairman of AMA's Board of Trustees, Medicare doctors are receiving the same payments for their services as in 2001, but the average costs of their medical practices have risen 18% since then. An AMA survey of nearly 9,000 physicians uncovered that if fees were cut by the projected 40% over the next nine years, 77% of the physicians polled said they would limit the number of new Medicare patients, and 68% would limit the number of their established Medicare patients. Other measures they would take would be to refer out complex cases, discontinue nursing home visits, discontinue rural outreach programs, and reduce the size of their staffs.

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