Ex-Bush aide: Reform will strain system

May 24, 2012 at 1:07 AM
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WASHINGTON, May 24 (UPI) -- The cost of the Affordable Care Act will put additional strains on the U.S healthcare system, a former Department of Health and Human Services official said.

Tevi Troy, who served as deputy secretary of HHS under former President George W. Bush, said the cost of the healthcare reform law, coupled with Medicare cuts, would make it harder for Congress to come up with the funds to pay for the "doc fix" -- Congress' annual effort to stave off mandated cuts to doctor reimbursements.

"In addition, the Affordable Care Act will also limit decision-making authority by doctors via the creation of the Independent Payment Advisory Board. This shift of control, joined with new red tape and the reduced reimbursement rates, could force doctors to reconsider the structure of their practices," Troy said in a statement.

"Some will opt for cash-only boutique practices, while others will be compelled to abandon their individual practices and join larger groups that are better equipped to handle insurers and new regulations."

Troy said some talented young people might be discouraged from entering the field of medicine and, given the physician shortage the United States already faces, these outcomes would have frightening repercussions.

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