Medicare board projects physician payments cut by 41% by 2016

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The 2008 yearly report from the boards of trustees for Medicare, which includes projections for future physician reimbursement rates, was issued March 25, and currently projects that physician payments will experience cuts of 41 percent by 2016.

The Medicare trustees board reports annually to Congress on the financial operations and actuarial status of the program.

In the report, the trustees predict that Medicare will be insolvent by 2019 and that physician reimbursement under the current Sustainable Growth Rate Formula will be cut by:

  • 10 percent in 2009;
  • 5 percent each in 2010, 2011 and 2012;
  • 3 percent in 2013;
  • Approximately 13 percent in 2014; and
  • At least 4 percent in 2015 and 2016.

This is a cumulative reduction of more than 41 percent by 2016. In contrast, the Medicare Economic Index is expected to increase by about 18 percent over the same time-frame.

The full report can be read here.

This synopsis was provided by the Heart Rhythm Society, which asks physicians to contact Congress and urge members to halt payment cuts and finance a positive payment update.