Found: Political cover for doctors across America.
Texas doctors are threatening to stop taking part in Medicaid, after new, lower, reimbursement changes trigger a classic economic response — fewer doctors want to supply their services for the the lower prices.
The health care and insurance industries fear that a 1 per cent cut in Medicaid fees scheduled to take effect Sept. 1 will be the first in a series of cuts as state agencies are asked to trim their two-year budgets by 10 per cent to help cover an expected $18 billion revenue shortfall, The Dallas Morning News reported Sunday.
It’s not that many took part to begin with…
About 3.3 million poor and disabled Texans depend on Medicaid for health care, but less than a third of the state’s 48,700 practicing doctors accept patients covered by the federal program, according to Texas Health and Human Services Commission. And some doctors who do participate in the program limit the number and kind of patients they accept.
But now there’s an even greater imperative to ditch the program.
The commission, which administers the program in Texas, is among the state agencies that state leaders expect to cut spending. Thomas Suehs, the commission’s top executive, said he realises the bind that physicians find themselves in.
“No one ever wants to cut Medicaid,” commission spokeswoman Stephanie Goodman said. But, she noted, “it’s 75 per cent of our budget. So when you start to identify places to reduce our budget, it gets very hard to skip Medicaid.”
This could be the beginning of a doctors exodus from Medicaid.
It’s pretty simply really, first Texas doctors do this en masse, then others follow. The more doctors that do it, the more cover remaining doctors have to leave, since they can point to earlier precedents, like Texas. This is an amazing example of how the solution to American health care lies in attacking underlying costs, rather than just paying doctors less.
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