ARLINGTON HEIGHTS - Just as Baby Boomers approach the time of life when worn hip and knee joints are going to need medical care, those same 60 plus-ers will be shifting to Medicare for their health coverage. The Illinois Bone and Joint Institute alerted their patients earlier this month that drastic Medicare cuts will decrease the availability of joint surgery.
On an alert posted on the Institute's website, their concern is laid out:
This November, Medicare may severely cut the rate of 2014 payments to orthopaedic surgeons for hip and knee replacement surgery. The result may be that fewer doctors will accept Medicare, which means that you may lose the choice of your preferred physician and may have to wait longer to receive care from someone else.
Unfortunately, current Medicare reimbursement rates are already low enough that physician offices everywhere are challenged to cover their costs. And so far, the debate on lowering reimbursement rates has been behind closed doors, leaving no time for physicians or patients to respond.
So, the Illinois Bone and Joint Institute says, if you don't want this to happen, write your congressman:
You can be heard and make a difference. If you want to continue to see the orthopedist of your choice and believe there should be open dialogue on the issue, let your congressional representative or the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) know.