One member of Congress who definitely understands what the Medicare payment fiasco is doing to physicians is U.S. Sen. John Cornyn. His Ensuring the Future Workforce of Physicians Act of 2008 (S 2729) would stop the 10.6-percent cut scheduled for July 1 and put in place a rational payment system. To support that bill, TMA conducted a survey of Texas physicians, whose results we unveiled at a joint news conference with Senator Cornyn in Houston. Harris County Medical Society President Tom Garcia, MD, a member of the TMA Board of Trustees, delivered the sobering news:
- The percentage of physicians who accept all new Medicare patients has declined to an all-time low of 58.1 percent.
- Nearly one-third of physicians have decided to accept fewer new Medicare patients in the past three years. Only 4 percent are accepting more.
- Texas physicians will not refuse their current Medicare patients. Nearly 70 percent say that is something they will not do.