As the federal government assesses an $85 billion reduction in its 2013 budget, an included 2 percent Medicare cut will hurt beneficiaries who need medical eye care, according to ophthalmologists – medical doctors who specialize in the diagnosis, medical and surgical treatment of eye disease. In a survey conducted by the American Academy of Ophthalmology, approximately 72 percent of responding member physicians predicted they would be forced to make decisions that will negatively affect the ability of their Medicare patients to receive the highest quality of medical care.
Specifically, 43 percent of ophthalmologists said they would be forced to close their practice to new Medicare beneficiaries or restrict the number of new program participants they see, while 28 percent predicted they would have to limit access of their current Medicare patients to urgent-care treatment only. In addition, nearly 11 percent of respondents said they would be forced to consider changing or ending their participation status in the Medicare program. Read more.