This post was written by Ferd H. Mitchell and Cheryl C. Mitchell, Thomson Reuters authors and attorney partners at Mitchell Law Office in Spokane, WA

More cuts are taking place in some physician payments, and these changes will affect attorneys whose practices involve concerns with health care law.

The procedures that are used to pay health practitioners often create legal issues that relate to patient needs and access to care, and shift the financial requirements for viable provider practices. Attorneys are often drawn upon to help clients understand what is happening and adapt as best possible. Two changes in governmental programs are being faced for 2015.

Some physicians who see Medicare patients are facing payment cuts because they have not moved rapidly enough to adopt electronic medical records or to use electronic prescribing. Penalties of 1 or 2 percent are being applied. And some physicians who see Medicaid patients are facing cuts in fees because the temporary increases due to the Affordable Care Act are not being renewed. The impact of these cuts varies by state.

In some situations, the result will be less income for physicians, and less access to care for patients. Attorneys may be called upon to help providers and patients deal with these issues, and all of the other changes now taking place due to the Affordable Care Act.

The Professional Development Group at Thomson Reuters is providing information that will help attorneys deal with these situations. Available publications and blog postings can provide important insights and suggestions. New book editions are available through the ACA resource page at at the tag “Affordable Care Act.”

Twice-monthly postings may be found on the Legal Solutions blog under the tag “ACA and legal practices.” These postings help keep materials as current as possible.

To order publications, also visit the special landing page set up by the Professional Development Group.

Ferd H. Mitchell and his wife, Cheryl, are attorney partners at Mitchell Law Office in Spokane, WA. They are active in elder law and health law practice areas. They have been working together on programs and activities on behalf of the elderly and in health care for over 25 years. During their studies, they have visited and evaluated the health care systems of Japan and several countries in Europe to learn how the needs of the elderly are assessed and met in other countries, and they have been better able to understand the U.S. health care system and related care issues from these visits.


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