Newscasts

PNS Daily Newscast - November 11, 2018. 


More than 12-hundred missing in the California wildfires. Also on the Monday rundown: a pair of reports on gun violence in the nation; plus concerns that proposed Green-Card rules favor the wealthy.

Daily Newscasts

Doctors for Seniors May Soon Be in Short Supply

PHOTO: An increasing number of North Carolina seniors and others receiving Medicare may have a tough time finding a doctor to treat them.
PHOTO: An increasing number of North Carolina seniors and others receiving Medicare may have a tough time finding a doctor to treat them.
December 20, 2012

LUMBERTON, N.C. - Less than two weeks are left for Congress to prevent a cut to reimbursements for doctors who treat Medicare patients. The cuts stem from a formula Congress has used for 15 years to determine how much doctors are paid. This year, a potential 26-percent cut is looming.

Family physician Dr. Brian Kessler, Lumberton, says the system discourages doctors like him, who are trying to meet their own overhead costs and turn a profit.

"Practice costs have gone up, yet physicians are looking at a reduction in their Medicare reimbursements, so a lot of physicians are not going to opt to take on new Medicare patients."

Kessler and other doctors are pushing Congress to find a permanent solution to negotiate reimbursement rates and to do away with the current formula system that creates uncertainties almost every year. Some seniors in North Carolina are already reporting difficulty in finding doctors who will accept them as new patients, he warns.

Kessler points out that 10,000 Americans will turn 65 every day for the next 19 years, which will eventually double the number of people who use Medicare.

"We want to do the best for our patients. When you can't continue to provide adequate services because the cost of providing those services outweighs that payment, it just makes it more and more difficult."

The cost to fix the Medicare reimbursement problem will only increase. According to Kessler, in 2005, it would have cost less than $50 billion. This year the cost is an estimated $250 billion.

Stephanie Carroll Carson, Public News Service - NC