ObamaCare robs Medicare

A new Rand study found that with ObamaCare robbing Medicare of $716 billion, payments to primary care doctors plunged to just 3.5 percent of total program spending.

Despite funding of primary care doctors being “associated with higher quality, better outcomes, and lower costs,” the Rand Corporation was concerned that ObamaCare delivery system reforms “devoted to primary care have not been estimated nationally."

Congressional Budget Office estimated after ObamaCare passed in 2010 that over a 10-year period beginning in 2013, the law would take $716 billion from Medicare to subsidize ObamaCare exchange premiums and its broad expansion of Medicaid.

Pres. Obama falsely claimed that under the new law, “If you like your doctor, you can keep you doctor.” But primary care doctors filing Center for Medicare Services affidavits to “opt-out” of the program hit triple digits for the first time in 2010, with 130 leaving. The number spiked to over 1,600 in 2013; more than doubled to over 3,500 in 2015; and more than doubled again to 7,400 in 2016, according to data released by the CMS.

Rand Corporation’s analysis published in JAMA Internal Medicine Journal reviewed 16 million Medicare primary care office visits across the United States. Rand concluded:

“Depending on whether narrow or expansive definitions of primary care are used, primary care spending represents 2.12% to 4.88% of total medical and prescription spending by Parts A, B and D of the Medicare program.” 

Lead investigator Dr. Rachel O. Reid commented that although there has been no consensus about the optimal share of medical spending that should be devoted to primary care, the current spending percentage is substantially below prior estimates. 

The most clever “bait and switch aspect of ObamaCare was giving Medicare Primary care doctors a 10% percent annual “bonus” in the four years from 2011 to 2015. ObamaCare also raised Medicaid Primary care reimbursement rates to the same level as Medicare for 2013 and 2014 to encourage supposedly accepting ObamaCare patients.

But the commercial insurance companies, such as WellPoint, that contracted with ObamaCare and Medicare Primary doctors for up to a 50 percent extra award for generating patient “nonvisits” by primary and specialty issues on the phone.

According to a report by the Massachusetts Medical Society’s ‘Recruiting Physicians Today,’ “physicians who have a lot of elderly Medicare patients may want to change their payer mix.” The report clearly suggested that by dumping or restricting new Medicare patient participation, Primary care doctors could dramatically expand compensation by contracting to accept ObamaCare “younger patients, who need fewer healthcare services than older patients.”

There are no good statistics regarding how many primary care doctors are dumping Medicare patients, but 21% of primary care doctors were no longer accepting new Medicare patients by 2015.

The CMS saw a sharp decrease in the number of providers opting out of Medicare in 2017, after several years where thousands indicated that they did not want to participate in the program.

The Trump administration has been moving aggressively to focus more Medicare reimbursement toward primary care. As a result, the number of doctor “opt-outs” slowed to 3,732 in 2017, according to the latest CMS data.

A new Rand study found that with ObamaCare robbing Medicare of $716 billion, payments to primary care doctors plunged to just 3.5 percent of total program spending.

Despite funding of primary care doctors being “associated with higher quality, better outcomes, and lower costs,” the Rand Corporation was concerned that ObamaCare delivery system reforms “devoted to primary care have not been estimated nationally."

Congressional Budget Office estimated after ObamaCare passed in 2010 that over a 10-year period beginning in 2013, the law would take $716 billion from Medicare to subsidize ObamaCare exchange premiums and its broad expansion of Medicaid.

Pres. Obama falsely claimed that under the new law, “If you like your doctor, you can keep you doctor.” But primary care doctors filing Center for Medicare Services affidavits to “opt-out” of the program hit triple digits for the first time in 2010, with 130 leaving. The number spiked to over 1,600 in 2013; more than doubled to over 3,500 in 2015; and more than doubled again to 7,400 in 2016, according to data released by the CMS.

Rand Corporation’s analysis published in JAMA Internal Medicine Journal reviewed 16 million Medicare primary care office visits across the United States. Rand concluded:

“Depending on whether narrow or expansive definitions of primary care are used, primary care spending represents 2.12% to 4.88% of total medical and prescription spending by Parts A, B and D of the Medicare program.” 

Lead investigator Dr. Rachel O. Reid commented that although there has been no consensus about the optimal share of medical spending that should be devoted to primary care, the current spending percentage is substantially below prior estimates. 

The most clever “bait and switch aspect of ObamaCare was giving Medicare Primary care doctors a 10% percent annual “bonus” in the four years from 2011 to 2015. ObamaCare also raised Medicaid Primary care reimbursement rates to the same level as Medicare for 2013 and 2014 to encourage supposedly accepting ObamaCare patients.

But the commercial insurance companies, such as WellPoint, that contracted with ObamaCare and Medicare Primary doctors for up to a 50 percent extra award for generating patient “nonvisits” by primary and specialty issues on the phone.

According to a report by the Massachusetts Medical Society’s ‘Recruiting Physicians Today,’ “physicians who have a lot of elderly Medicare patients may want to change their payer mix.” The report clearly suggested that by dumping or restricting new Medicare patient participation, Primary care doctors could dramatically expand compensation by contracting to accept ObamaCare “younger patients, who need fewer healthcare services than older patients.”

There are no good statistics regarding how many primary care doctors are dumping Medicare patients, but 21% of primary care doctors were no longer accepting new Medicare patients by 2015.

The CMS saw a sharp decrease in the number of providers opting out of Medicare in 2017, after several years where thousands indicated that they did not want to participate in the program.

The Trump administration has been moving aggressively to focus more Medicare reimbursement toward primary care. As a result, the number of doctor “opt-outs” slowed to 3,732 in 2017, according to the latest CMS data.