When you hear that the ball is going to drop this time of year, you would automatically think of Time Square and the Tiffany ball dropping to denote the start of next year.

Hopefully the ball doesn’t drop on our healthcare.

As you know we are on count down for Medicare as well. You have until the end of today…TODAY…to decide whether you will be participating in the Medicare program.  As of now, we are looking at a 26.5% pay cut in accordance with the sustainable greowth rate formula for Medicare and another 2% reduction for a budget deal failure of the last year.

Ironic that this comes on the heels of President Obama announcing a pay raise for members of Congress and himself!

If Congress does not have a “doctor fix” again to thwart a slash in Medicare reimbursement, countless doctors will quit participating in the program leaving both seniors and military families to have less coverage or scrounge to find a doctor that both accepts Medicare and new patients for the Medicare participation.

The American College of Physicians has suggested 3 coping techniques for the decrease in revenue:

*Postpone routine appointments of Medicare patients until a decision has been made and the crisis is averted

*Decrease staff and office hours on a temporary basis

*Apply for a line of credit to tie you over any fiscal hump

Doctors may decide to opt out of participation in Medicare and bill patients directly but if so, must wait two years before rejoining.

These are tough decisions and tough times.  Hopefully next year will be better.

Have a happy and healthy New Year!