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Doctors Glad That Fiscal Cliff Deal Protected Their Reimbursements

Some doctors in California are expressing relief after the deal to avoid the so-called 'Fiscal Cliff' protected their reimbursements for treating Medicare patients. 

Paul Phinney, president of the California Medical Association, said Congress halted a nearly 27 percent Medicare payment cut that would have devastated doctors.

"They would have had to lay off staff," Phinney said. "Even be faced with actually closing their practices, should the cuts have gone into effect."

But hospital officials aren't happy that they'll have to bear the brunt of financing those physician payments. Jan Emerson-Shea with the California Hospital Association said hospitals here will take about a $1.5 billion hit over the next decade.

"That comes on top of $17 billion in cuts as a result of the Affordable Care Act, and could result in the closure of some services and even some hospitals," she said.

Emerson-Shea said hospital officials worry more cuts lie ahead, as lawmakers confront the need to raise the debt ceiling.

Some California hospital groups are urging members to reach out to their local Congressional representatives.

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