A news release by McKesson Speciality Health to physicians just came out today, January 21,2013, concerning health care budget cuts for oncology practices. Their team stated that “Our innovative Practice Services team wants to make you aware that with the recent passing of the Biden-McConnell compromise by Congress that averted the ﬁscal cliff, there are many changes that will affect oncology practices.”
I’m sure you are wondering what that means to the patients. We were all excited we did not fall off the cliff but knew we were not off the ledge yet. The bill did delay the 2% sequestration cuts to Medicare and did implement a one-year freeze to the Medicare physician payment rate, which helped prevent the 27% cuts that were scheduled to take place on January 1, 2013. Whew, I know, it’s hard to understand. However, McKesson reports that the 25 billion dollar ﬁx will be paid by working on additional healthcare spending cuts.
This means if you are on Medicare, your doctor may think twice if you will get an advance diagnostic imaging (an x-ray like a CT scan, MRI or PET scan). If your doctor performs the x-ray in his/her ofﬁce, they may lose revenue tied to the procedure.
In the past, I have seen many times where the insurance companies have already refused to do a PET scan or one of the other x-rays because of the cost. I do not believe that the x-ray companies should be the one to say what is or is not needed to help see where the patient is in their journey of wellness or sickness. That should be left up to the doctor. It is my opinion that we are going to see a lot more of the insurance companies saying what treatments can be done or not. After all, it’s going to take a lot of the government’s money to enforce the Obama Care so the budget will have to be watched.
As I have always said, at least Obama is trying, but Obama Care in my opinion is not the answer. We need good health care system which starts at a different level.