Business income has increased for doctors because many people on Medicare are now using free screenings and an annual “wellness visit” provided through the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
Through Oct. 6, 2011, the government said, 20.5 million people enrolled in Medicare had received the free screenings or the annual visit, which is also free. Medicare is now offering a 10 percent bonus payment on the fees charged for primary care services, and a 10 percent bonus payment to surgeons who work in areas where there are shortages of doctors.
For 2013 and 2014, Medicaid payments for primary care services — which are now less than amounts paid by Medicare for the same care — will be increased to match the full Medicaid rate. This will increase availability of care for people enrolled in Medicaid (the federal-state program for the poor), since many doctors have refused to accept them as patients because of the lower fees.
What is the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB)?
What Happens to Medicare Spending Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA)?