On Dec. 1, doctors face a 23 percent cut to Medicare reimbursements. A 21 percent cut to payments was supposed to go into effect June 1, but the Congress eventually voted to delay the cuts by six months. Now, with the 23 percent cut looming, and another possible cut of about 6 percent coming in the new year, many doctors worry how the declining compensation will affect their cash flow.
That includes both Lippman and Pinke. Lippman, fed up by the regular drops in reimbursement rates, formally withdrew from the Medicare system in July. He said it's too early to know how the decision will ultimately affect his business, but he felt he had no choice. He said he'd grown progressively frustrated over the decades he has participated in Medicare. Mainly, Lippman said, Medicare's restrictive fees and reimbursement hampered the kind of care he could give his patients.