Image via WikipediaBy Amanda Kerr
Fears at the time were that continuing reductions in Medicare reimbursements would lead physicians to drop Medicare patients, which would be a very big deal in a retirement community like greater Williamsburg. That problem still exists (see “Durable Threat” box).
Peng said that so far denial of services has not become a reality.
A second hospital will likely come at just the right time as the senior population continues to grow. But Medicare access is by no means guaranteed, given what’s going in Washington.
“As we look at issues of health reform and the potential for declining reimbursements, many physicians in the community are concerned,” Peng said. “At this point, that discussion remains hypothetical.”
Peng said it’s too soon to tell what may happen or how doctors will address further cuts to Medicare under health reform.
One local medical practice last year sent letters to patients warning that Medicare cuts would force its doctors to limit the number of Medicare patients. The letter urged patients to contact their congressman to support changing the funding formula and raise the reimbursements.
Jumping from doctor to doctor could lead to a bad outcome of musical chairs.