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Doctors May Do a “Brexit” from Medicare

American physicians have already been declaring independence from Medicare [1], states the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS), but the imposition of new payment methods may lead to a rush to imitate the British in exiting the regime of a remote, unelected, unaccountable bureaucracy.

MACRA (the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015) replaced the threatened but never implemented annual fee cuts of the Sustained Growth Rate formula with a complex system of bonuses and penalties. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) predicted that 87% of solo practice physicians would be penalized [2].  

According to a Medscape Medical News survey [3], almost four in 10 physicians in solo and small group practices predict an exodus from Medicare within their ranks because of the program’s new payment plan.

The 962-page Final Rule received more than 3,937 comments [4]. AAPS noted that:

AAPS executive director Jane M. Orient, M.D., commented: “It is impossible to practice medicine under this rule, for ethical and practical reasons. The rule makes it impossible to protect confidentiality, and one is in a constant conflict of interest: What is best for the patient may be bad for the financial viability of the practice. It would take a dedicated team of legal specialists to even attempt compliance. Full compliance is probably impossible even with such a team, which is beyond the means of a small practice.”

She concluded: “Physicians need to withdraw from Medicare or any other program that subjects them to this rule.” AAPS offers detailed instructions on how to opt out of Medicare [5], and regular workshops on building a successful practice [6] to serve patients without third-party shackles.

The Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS) [7] is a national organization representing physicians in all specialties, founded in 1943.

Join the Medicarexit at https://aapsonline.org/doctors-may-do-a-brexit-from-medicare/ [8]

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 Government is not the solution to our problems, government is the problem.

– Ronald Reagan