Obama Overides Congress & Cuts Medicare Cancer Treatments”
Medicare 2010 reimbursement cuts mean disaster for cancer-care,heart disease and nursing homes.
>Last fall the federal govt. offices of Medicare and Medicaid enacted $16 billion in funding cuts for nursing homes over the next ten years.
A disaster in cancer-care delivery is imminent. Why? Because cuts already in place from the start of 2009 have reduced reimbursements levels to a level that most local oncologists already cannot live with.
“Starting in January 2010, Medicare payments for the administration of life-saving cancer drugs will be cut by 5 percent, with further cuts increasing to almost 20 percent by 2013.
Estimates are that about half of the essential services provided by community cancer facilities are currently not even reimbursed at all.
Making this bad situation worse, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is also scheduled to cut physician-related Medicare payments for all physicians by an additional 21.2 percent effective Jan. 1.
My brother and I have run a small community oncology practice serving the Bronx, Manhattan and Westchester County for the past 30 years, and it is now on the verge of bankruptcy due to Medicare reimbursement cuts. We recently laid off staff (from 28 staff in 2000 to seven today), and further layoffs are imminent.
Medicare allows us (actual stats from my practice) a margin of 2 percent on the chemotherapy drugs we administer, yet it costs us 4 percent to 8 percent to buy and store the drugs, causing a net loss of 5 percent to 8 percent. In 2006, we had grown our practice to twice as many patients as in 1996 but we made only half the income. This decline has continued and we are making only 15 percent of what we were making 10 years ago in spite of working longer hours and seeing 35-40 patients per day. With the expected payment cuts, it is likely we will go out of business.”