Medicare Cuts Would Compromise Vital Health Services
A proposal from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that would cut Medicare payments to the physicians who manage heart disease and cancer is now being fought by Congressman John Carter (R-TX).
The plan by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid would cut the payments for services provided by cardiologists and oncologists by as much as 40 percent.
"If this proposal stands, it would compromise vital services like pacemaker monitoring and chemotherapy, services that millions of people depend on to stay alive," Carter said.
The proposed cuts are based on a flawed survey, Carter said. The survey questionably concluded that prices for cardiology and oncology services have dropped during the past five years. The survey sample was also too small to be accurately represented, which cut out data from many rural and low-income urban areas, Carter said.
There are now more than 11 million cancer survivors in the U.S., and during the past seven years, deaths from heart attacks have dropped 30 percent. However, the nation's health care system continues to face many obstacles, such as this proposal, Carter added.