While we’re on the subject of healthcare, before it slipped my mind again I wanted to mention a thought I’d had. As of this year we’re beginning an intriguing real-life experiment. For years it has been said that if we cut the fees that physicians are paid by this government program or that they will stop accepting patients from the program that has lowered it fees.
Consistent with the PPACA’s schedule, Medicaid fees are now on the chopping block. If neither the Administration nor the Congress blinks and the cuts are allowed to stand and, starting this year and over the next several years, if physicians start refusing to accept Medicaid patients (not if they already decline to accept them—the change is important), it will support the view that has been put forward for so long.
However, if the number of physicians that accept Medicaid patients declines not at all or only marginally, it will provide some support that maybe Medicare reimbursement rates should be reduced as well.
I would not have elected to carry on such an experiment in this way but it wasn’t my call. Whatever its causes the experiment is now in progress.