did a little research into doctors’ concerns regarding the new healthcare reform. Not surprisingly, among the five “gripes,” was the threat of Medicare cuts.

According to the law, a Federally mandated formula is used every year to determine payment rates based on the health of the economy. Payment rates have been cut for the past 8 years, although Congress has stepped in each year except for one to block them. This year, a 21% pay cut has gone into effect and Congress has yet to block it.

Faced with these cuts, doctors say they could stop accepting new Medicare patients or even drop existing ones.

It’s a yearly battle, and the new legislation didn’t address it. Tort reform wasn’t addressed either, and according to, “more doctors are ordering additional tests and procedures not based on need but fear of liability.” Is defensive medicine really in the best interest of patient and doctor, and national healthcare?

The government estimates that cost of medical malpractice is less than 2% of overall health care spending. Industry experts say defensive medicine accounts for about 10% of health care costs, or more than $100 billion annually.

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