Over the past few years, physicians have been declining to take new Medicare patients in greater and greater numbers. The major cause for this decision has been the uncertainty of the Medicare payment formula, and the inability of doctors to operate on the payments authorized under this formula. Just this year, the Democrats in Congress have chosen to make political decisions to address this gap, rather than working toward a permanent, long term solution that will maintain the sustainability of the program.
Until loopholes are closed that allow for duplication, waste, fraud, and abuse of the system, and doctors are provided long term payment formulas, our seniors will suffer due to lack of availability of services. Doctors must be fairly compensated for their work, while at the same time ensuring that the current waste and fraud inherent in the system do not continue. The first step in implementing change would be to prevent fraud through the passage of HR 5546. This bill will save billions of dollars in fraud by verifying expenditures before they take place. Seniors have a right to quality care and the right to choose a top notch physician, both of which are in jeopardy without these changes.