How to Opt Out of Medicare

March 5, 2010 in Health Policy by RangelMD

Congress waited until the 13th hour to delayed automatic cuts in Medicare reimbursements of 21% – at least until April. Such a drastic cut will force many physicians to drop Medicare to avoid operating at at loss and many may decide to anyway rather than wait for inevitable.

How do you opt out? You would think that it’s as straight forward as informing your Medicare patients and telling the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to cross your name off their list of participating physicians with a big, “thanks but no thanks.”

But this is the Federal government we are talking about here! Nothing is simple or straight forward! The actual process includes sending in an affidavit to CMS and signing separate contracts with those Medicare patients who wish to remain in the practice where both the physician and the patient promise not to bill Medicare for services rendered. And the affidavit must be sent in every two years. It’s almost like drug addiction or being a CIA agent. Once a Medicare user, always a Medicare user. Because, if you no longer accept Medicare then the Federal government no longer has the right to control you and your practice with arbitrary audits and unfunded mandates.

Please share.