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Medicare Cuts Pinch Some San Diego County Doctors

Audio

Aired 3/2/10

The San Diego County Medical Society says at least six doctors in San Diego County stopped taking new medicare patients Monday. That's s because Medicare rates were cut 21-percent.

The San Diego County Medical Society says at least six doctors in San Diego County stopped taking new Medicare patients Monday. That's because Medicare rates were cut 21 percent.

The fees Medicare pays to doctors were slashed because the Senate failed to act on a bill that included funding to postpone the cuts for one month. Republican Kentucky Senator Jim Bunning argued the bill would add to the deficit.

The Medicare cuts are the result of 1990's deficit reduction measures that Congress has waived for years. The cuts grow each time they're postponed.

Ted Mazer is doctor and spokesman for the San Diego County Medical Society. He says doctors are fed up with begging for a fix to the flawed Medicare formula. "This is about access to care. Many physicians are saying they're closing their offices to new Medicare patients and they're considering closing their officers all together to new Medicare patients if this is not corrected once and for all," Mazer said.

Mazer adds some physicians are also considering cutting staff and hours to absorb the financial loss.

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