Bond Talks Medicare with St. Louis Doctors
By Kevin Lavery, KWMU
St. Louis – Missouri Senator Kit Bond met with a group of oncologists in St. Louis Monday to hear their concerns about possible changes in Medicare reimbursements.
Changes in the Medicare payment system slated for 2005 could threaten cancer patients' access to treatment at community care centers.
Pediatric oncologist Robert Bergamini says lower reimbursements for pharmaceuticals means his office can provide fewer outpatient services.
"Charitable dollars can't make up the difference," Bergamini said. "If we can't get enough reimbursement to cover the cost of the office, then you can't provide the support services needed so that you have a whole child at the end of the therapy."
Bond is urging Medicare program officials to calculate projected payment rates for 2005 so Congress can determine how patients will be affected.