Many physicians in San Joaquin Valley are considering dropping out of Medicare after a 21.2% cut to Medicare physician reimbursements took effect this month, the Fresno Bee reports.
There are 220,000 Medicare beneficiaries in the San Joaquin Valley.
Some physicians in the area already have decided to stop accepting new Medicare patients because of the reimbursement cut.
Other area doctors are postponing decisions on Medicare participation to see whether lawmakers will attempt to repeal the payment cut after Congress returns on Monday.
The reimbursement cut is not expected to affect San Joaquin Valley as dramatically as other regions because the new national health reform law includes a 10% Medicare payment increase for physicians in areas with a shortage of health care professionals. Many San Joaquin Valley doctors are expected to qualify for the payment increase (Anderson, Fresno Bee, 4/7).