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On 11/1 the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced that the Medicare reimbursement for physicians would be cut by 27.4% in 2012---instead of the 29.5% that was previously planned. Doctors that get by on federal payment for seeing older folks are SOL. Older folks are likely to be in a pickle too, as fewer docs will stick with them, given the hoop jumping required to get paid diddley in the first place. As a naturopath I won't qualify for medicare payment in the first place, so I have limited sympathy for those physicians who consider this cut to be akin to a death sentence. The medscape article suggests that nearly 13% of family physician practices may have to close due to the decrease in financial viability. There is another way for us to take care of our elders. We just haven't found it yet.

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( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
hausfrauatu
Nov. 4th, 2011 09:10 pm (UTC)
We really do do a terrible job. I work at a lovely place, but my God is it expensive! How will "the masses" live in a few years?

Aging is so medicalized. And now that I am starting to show some signs of wear and teat it pisses me off that not everything can be fixed. So I think there has to be some acceptance of the process.

My Grandmother goes to Dr. Appointments to alleviate boredom, I swear. She has a million minor complaints that are attended to by a Dr. quick smart, while younger people can't afford to go to a clinic to get treatment for pneumonia. I know a 40 year old who is delaying cancer treatment. She has known since May.
liveonearth
Nov. 4th, 2011 09:21 pm (UTC)
What sort of place do you work at??

Your grandma's not the only one. I saw a 72 year old lady yesterday who is in good health (her complaint was a sore toe) but losing her memory and bored with her husband of 50+ years. She came to our clinic to have someone to TALK to....

Certainly, as we age, there are plenty of things that go wrong that we just can't fix. Seems increasingly important to help people remain engaged in LIFE so that the accumulation of insults doesn't end up being depressing and ultimately paralyzing.
hausfrauatu
Nov. 8th, 2011 01:34 am (UTC)
http://www.uppermichiganssource.com/directory/seniors/premium.aspx?id=1787875#.TriGqYbbBOA

Here is where I work...for now, lol. Brookridge Heights Assisted Living.
liveonearth
Nov. 8th, 2011 03:00 am (UTC)
I'm envious that you have a JOB. And an income. I haven't had one of those in long enough now that it's starting to sound miraculous.
ford_prefect42
Nov. 4th, 2011 10:00 pm (UTC)
Well, here's how it goes.

1 The marketplace rations by price. Some people don't like that.

so they tried option 2. No rationing, everyone gets everything. The problem with that is that it requires infinite supply, so it's bankrupting everything.

Enter option 3: Rationing by suck. That's what most of the "socialized medicine" nations do, they just make getting medical care *so* inconvenient that people just go home and die instead of putting up with it.
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )

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