The American Medical Association surveyed nearly 9,000 physicians earlier this year and discovered that seniors are going to find it more difficult to get medical care when Medicare cuts go into effect next year. That’s because doctors are going to see fewer and fewer patients covered by Medicare.

“The AMA is deeply concerned by the alarming news that 60 percent of America’s physicians will be forced to limit the number of new Medicare patients they will be able to care for next year when Medicare cuts physician payments,” said Cecil B. Wilson, M.D., AMA board chair.

According to AMA’s figures, Medicare payments to physicians will be cut by 10 percent, and over nine years the cuts will total 40 percent. Seventy-seven percent of surveyed doctors say they will be forced to limit new Medicare patients over the life of the cuts. This is alarming to the AMA because of the number of baby boomers who will begin needing care in the next 10 years. More immediately, 14 percent of physicians say they will get out of caring for Medicare patients completely as soon as the cuts hit next year.

AMA and its members are working to get Congress to take action on the Medicare cuts. Senior advisors whose clients depend on Medicare for their health care may want to take the time to get acquainted with the issue. For more information, visit www.ama-assn.org or www.patientsactionnetwork.org.