Medicare rates could be cut 21 percent - WECT TV6-WECT.com:News, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

Medicare rates could be cut 21 percent

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Reported by Claire Hosmann – bio |email
Posted by Debra Worley - email

BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WECT) - While the President joins Democrats and Republicans sitting at the same table in Washington DC to discuss health care reform, many doctors and nurses in Brunswick County are concerned about drastic cuts in medicare.

Dr. Jugta Kahai of Oak Island Pediatrics is anxious about the 21 percent cut in medicare rates this year, but is even more worried about her patients.

"There's no question if these cuts are approved its going to be completely devastating for our patients," said Kahai.

The doctor says 80 percent of her patients use medicaid, which is much more than most practices have.

"If I have to take a 21 percent cut I would not be able to maintain my practice," said Kahai.

Elizabeth Wilson relies on Dr. Kahai to keep her son's health in check and says it would be a huge inconvenience if the practice didn't remain open.  The nearest provider would be 45 minutes away, and if the cuts are approved, there are no guarantees any doctor in Wilmington would be willing to treat Wilson's son.

"In areas like ours, like Brunswick County, there's already a lack of health care professionals and it's going to cause an even more disastrous drop in numbers taking patients," said Kahai.

Kahai also serves as president of the Brunswick County Medical Society and says everyone can make a difference in their health care coverage by calling local lawmakers.

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