PHILADELPHIA, PA – Both the House of Representatives and the Senate recently passed a measure that will delay the 27 percent Medicare pay cut to physicians for another 10 months.
The agreement is part of a deal to extend a payroll tax cut and added unemployment benefits. Under the deal, physicians will be able to avoid a 27 percent Medicare payment cut until the end of the year. The cut was originally scheduled for January 1, 2012, and was extended to March 1.
The American Medical Association has consistently called on lawmakers to repeal the flawed formula that allowed for the massive cut. According to the AMA, the recent decision missed an opportunity to permanently replace the flawed Medicare physician payment formula and protect access to care for military families and seniors.
But payments aren’t the only problem in a flawed Medicare and Medicaid system. The complex system is becoming more and more difficult to navigate for adults under age 65 with SSDI (Social Security Disability Income) or those over the age of 65.
Karl Benzio, M.D. is the Founder, Executive Director and a psychiatrist at the Lighthouse Network, an addiction and mental health referral program that also provides the Lighthouse Addiction Helpline, a free, 24-hour treatment options helpline.
Lighthouse Network developed the only Christian residential addiction rehabilitation program that accepts Medicare, Benzio said, adding that one of Lighthouse Network’s goals is to help guide people through Medicare treatment options that are right for them, while at the same time helping patients navigate complex red tape and ever-changing policies.
“Hardly a week goes by when there isn’t some sort of policy change to insurance, Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid,” Benzio said. “Many of the people we help are already struggling with an addiction, an addicted family member or a host of other problems. Working through a very user-unfriendly program like Medicare shouldn’t add to their stress. That’s where Lighthouse Network can step in and help.”