Slow Medicare reimbursements are hurting doctors in California, Nevada and Hawaii
Posted Nov 10 2008 4:16pm
One more reason it may be hard to find a primary care physician that will take Medicare, part of the issues lie with the new Medicare contractor for the area as well, big transition when getting data bases connected and data aligned.
I have myself heard the same complaints from physicians offices here in southern California, the payment process is so slow and a couple have commented even further to say it is also getting slow coming from the commercial insurers as well. Many offices have already written off Medicaid as earlier this year no checks went out from July 1st until sometime in September due to the California budget not being in place. When a small practice budgets, just as everyone else does and the money does not come in, well we know what is next, doesn’t take a brain surgeon to figure that part out, but again this is one more hardship on the small practices and they are getting more difficult to absorb.
I believe data changes are being made too quickly without all the details in place and if the data and claim information doesn’t match, then nobody gets paid. BD
Doctors across California and in two other Western states are owed millions of dollars in backlogged Medicare reimbursements, leading some physicians to turn away elderly patients and pushing others to the brink of bankruptcy. In the most extreme cases, doctors have not been paid since February. Others are owed hundreds of thousands of dollars. Doctors who serve high numbers of Medicare patients say they are defaulting on rent, laying off staff and begging drug suppliers not to stop shipments. One cardiologist said she's even resorted to doing the office laundry to cut costs.