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Support for the Physicians Pro Bono Care Act Grows in the House; Billions in Savings Expected Once it Becomes Law, says AMAC

WASHINGTON, DC — The Association of Mature American Citizens [AMAC] reports that the Physician Pro Bono Care Act, introduced earlier this year by Rep. Dan Webster (R-FL) and Colin Peterson (D-MN), now has 25 co-sponsors.

Bob Carlstrom, president of AMAC Action, says “The Physician Pro Bono Care Act is particularly important at a time when the government’s coffers are being depleted by the COVID-19 pandemic and so every billion dollars’ worth of savings counts.”

According to Carlstrom, individuals who cannot afford to see a physician tend to visit local ERs instead because the visits are covered by Medicaid and CHIP.  “By offering physicians the opportunity to take a charitable tax deduction for seeing Medicaid eligible patients in their offices and clinics, instead of having to travel to a separate medical charity facilities, Medicare and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) could see billions of dollars in savings.  The cost of the tax deduction pales in comparison to the level of Medicaid and CHIP reimbursements for the same services, particularly the costs for chronic care in ER visits – a 95% savings.”

Just as important, Carlstrom notes, is that the bill would give needy patients the ability to choose their own doctors and to establish long-term patient-physician relationships.  In addition, as co-sponsor Congressman Webster put it: “This bill removes government bureaucracy and red-tape that obstructs the patient-doctor relationship, and it expands access to doctors for some of the more vulnerable in our society.”

Medicaid spending has increased dramatically in recent years and it has put a strain on state and federal resources.  Meanwhile, the CORVID-19 outbreak is bound to increase ER visits long term, greatly adding to the burden.

AMAC’s Carlstrom argues that the Physician Pro Bono Care Act “provides a genuine opportunity to lower state and federal governments Medicaid spending, with doctors helping to reduce the number of Medicaid and CHIP payouts by using the charitable tax deduction alternative. This simple tax deduction is self-executing in the normal tax filing processes of the physicians further decreasing their administrative costs, which are much higher in the Medicaid reimbursement processes. The bill does not prevent physicians or qualifying individuals from using Medicaid or CHIP, it simply adds an additional, more attractive option for low-income patients to receive localized healthcare services.”

About AMAC

The 2 million member Association of Mature American Citizens [AMAC] [https://www.amac.us] is a vibrant, vital senior advocacy organization that takes its marching orders from its members. We act and speak on their behalf, protecting their interests and offering a practical insight on how to best solve the problems they face today. Live long and make a difference by joining us today at https://amac.us/join-amac.


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Reena
2 years ago

As a physician, I will have difficult time receiving anywhere 7-15 dollar per patient for the service. (minimum wage)
The same service the clinic or an agency receives anywhere $150.00-$250.00. These agencies hire physicians and pay them while making money at the expense of a physician, if things go wrong doctors punished being the “Doctor”
Most physicians in private practice don’t take medicaid. More volume, more demands and minimum (less than minimum pay) for specialty care.
Tort reform. Nobody wants to talk about it, our legislators (Lawyers) will never allow that to happen. No thanks I don’t need a tax break that break my back.

Renee
2 years ago

This bill makes some sense, but Bob Carlstrom, president of AMAC Action is confusing the issues and the potential dollars saved are hugely optimistic. It makes sense that large healthcare organizations that see a small percent of Medicaid and CHIP would be saving the government some money (i.e. taxpayers). When these large organizations see entitlement patients they are losing money anyway. Taking the money as a tax deduction may make more sense for their bottom line and thus seen as a win-win. What doesn’t make sense and what confuses the issue is; “individuals who cannot afford to see a physician tend to visit local ERs instead because the visits are covered by Medicaid and CHIP.” Office visits are also covered by Medicaid and CHIP. Saying this bill provides physician incentives to see more patients in the office is questionable. The reasons Medicaid and CHIP patients often end up in the ER for routine care are; lack of transportation, lack of planning and follow through for office appointments. This bill does nothing for changing patient behavior and keeping routine care out of the ER. The Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act (EMTALA) is a federal law that requires anyone coming to an emergency department to be stabilized and treated, regardless of their insurance status or ability to pay, but since its enactment in 1986 has remained an unfunded mandate. In other words, Medicaid and CHIP will always be paying the ER bills regardless. The bill might make more sense for individuals not on entitlements who lack insurance, but those pro bono services are already a “write off” as unreimbursed care. This bill does nothing to provide “more attractive option for low-income patients to receive localized healthcare services.” I’m not saying the bill isn’t worthwhile, but the real issue for saving money is how to have fewer entitlement recipients.

JLL
2 years ago

Would this Act apply to Medicare patients as well since we AMAC members are seniors? This is a great idea, one I’m sure was thought of years ago before Trump was President, but was probably shot down by the administration. All the left cares about is raising taxes to pay for those who will not work because they get more from the government than their job pays them.

G. Allen Reason
2 years ago

This is a great idea. There needs, however, to be a clear procedure laid out for proof of care and some stiff penalties for any physician or clinic who make fraudulent deductions using this law. It, like Medicare, leaves a lot of room for unscrupulous characters to defraud the government of millions. There also needs to be some clear definitions and proofs laid out, with much stiffer penalties for anyone defrauding the Medicare, Medicaid, or other government assistance programs. This would help provide hundreds of millions of dollars for those who really need these services.

anita
2 years ago

That’s what I was saying, too. I had a few Physical Therapy sessions scheduled, & didn’t make it to all of them, other Health issues, & when C-19 came, I declined to go, until we new more..& they called me again, to ask me..I’m older & have 2 other issues on the stay @ home list..so I declined again..I get Medicare statements & see what they charge isits for, ect..& the P/T stuff I never went to, were charged on this months statements..There is no link on Medicare to report it, so will call in,but now we become the Dr’s chekers, & when they find out, we did tell Medicare, what’s the new relationship going to be like….Hmmm..Not good..

Casey Math
2 years ago

This plan is almost too rational and logical to be believed that it could pass our incredibly dysfunctional House of Representatives especially with its completely out of control, nonsensical Speaker. I do hope that somehow it can indeed pass without Ms Pelosi adding some mandatory abortion add on to the bill, as in ” every woman must abort a baby before being allowed to give live birth to one”. I wish that were a laughable notion but the woman is unhinged!

anita
2 years ago
Reply to  Casey Math

& we will keep on telling them, Hell No to adding their Fat to the Bills we’re trying to pass to help the American’s…Not kill them. They need to HEAR NO! & let that ride out..Keep caving to cheaters, liers & thieves ..? WHy..?

Carolyn Van Doren
2 years ago

The act should include services by doctoral level psychologists for Medicaid eligible patients even if the psychologist is only on the Medicare panel.

Cora
2 years ago

THere is a limit to the amount of charitable contributions tax deductions one can take. This is good for the govt. and bad for the docs.

Cora
2 years ago

There is a limit to the amount of charitable deductions one can take. This is good for the govt. but not the doctors.

Bill
2 years ago

Why two payments? One Medicaid one tax deduction. Doesn’t this favor higher tax bracket doctors. Why not just make
the Medicaid payment higher as the incentive to reduce emergency rm use? Something is not clear here.

Anita
2 years ago
Reply to  Bill

This maybe why they choose to see me, muliple times….& I got sick of it..So now one Dr.has chosen to to reply, at alll, way be4 this CV..& he is invloved w/Ca-25 Blood tests which he decided to code wrong, same w/the Primary Gave up on them both…This is a test for Cancer, too. I paid $90.00 onc, but since it was covered, with Medicare & Aid…Not sure why everybody has amnesha!

Robert Messmer
2 years ago

Quote: “By offering physicians the opportunity to take a charitable tax deduction for seeing Medicaid eligible patients in their offices and clinics,…” Makes no sense whatsoever. If Doctor A sees Patient A who pays the bill, Doctor A reports income and pays taxes on the net income from that visit. When Doctor A sees Patient B who is a pro bono case, there is no income to report and no taxes to pay. Since the doctor is NOT reporting any income from Patient B, why would he then need a deduction from the taxes he does not pay?

David
2 years ago
Reply to  Robert Messmer

It is an income loss. Simple

Anita L
2 years ago
Reply to  David

So they get Nothing for visits..? I have Medicare & medicaid, & when they heard I had QMB, they take me, as a patient..15 mins.& the computer set ups, twice,leaves no time for visits…
Thanks

Carolyn
2 years ago
Reply to  Robert Messmer

Payments are based on time. Time spent on a bro-bono patient limits income.

Caroline
2 years ago
Reply to  Robert Messmer

Patient B does not pay, Doctor looses $250 that he would have made if he had seen a paying patient, so Dr. deducts $?? from his taxes to compensate for the time spent. If this is done it saves the taxpayer (us) paying all the gov. employees that administer Medicaid and all the supplies that are used in those transactions. Win Win.

Diana
2 years ago

As long as the Doctors are protected from these people they will try to find away to mess it up, and NO illegals

Anita L.
2 years ago
Reply to  Diana

Meaning..? Protected from these people…meaning have Insurance..?Not clear..

Linda Nilsson-Apolzer
2 years ago
Reply to  Diana

I agree..NO ILLEGALS!!

Gibby
2 years ago

“Meanwhile the CORVID-19 outbreak is bound to increase ER visits…”
Yeah, you gotta watch out for those crows.

Jo name
2 years ago

Sounds like a great idea
Like anything else these days there will be those that abuse it and mess it up for the honest

MARK PICURRO
2 years ago

Just to add another twist to this conversation. A health care provider who provides free service is just as libel to be sued as if he was paid. Ask any lawyer or insurance company ! This is a good start but tort reform is needed as well.

PaulE
2 years ago
Reply to  MARK PICURRO

Yes without major tort reform, a doctor’s medical malpractice insurance rates would skyrocket under this plan.

Anita L.
2 years ago

So better make sure the lines don’t get blurred, when saying either &…It’s either 1 or the other..Can’t be both, cause you know they will bill for the largest one they can get..

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