Samuel W. Vallery, MD, PA
2212 Malvern Ave., Suite 8
Hot Springs, AR 71901
(501) 609-2300

 

8/2/2013

Dear fellow physicians,

This letter is to inform you that I have elected to “opt out” of the Medicare program.

As a 50 year old, solo private practice physician, I am no longer willing or financially able to fight or comply with all of the onerous federal rules and regulations required for continued Medicare participation. It now takes me longer to document and code a Medicare visit than it does to see the patient, despite being in full compliance with electronic health records, electronic practice management software, e-prescribing, “meaningful use”, and etc. I have spent a great deal of time researching and considering my options. I have concluded that “opting out” is the best option for myself and for my Medicare patients.

As of October 1, 2013, I will start entering into private contracts with any current and future Medicare patients who choose to see me. I will no longer bill Medicare for any services provided. My patients will pay me at the time of service.  I will still be able to see new and established Medicare patients, order studies, prescribe medication, and perform surgery.  Medicare B will still cover all of these expenses for my patients. The only difference will be that my Medicare patients will have to agree to pay me for my services provided out of their pocket, at a cost set by me, rather than having me bill Medicare and then accept Medicare reimbursement (if a Medicare employee decides to approve the claim).  Soon, I plan to make available to the public my clinic and surgical charges for most of the common otolaryngology procedures and patient encounters.

Obviously, some patients will elect to see an otolaryngologist who is a Medicare participant, rather than personally pay for services provided. However, as we are all aware, it is getting progressively more difficult for Medicare patients to find physicians, and if they do, it often takes months to be seen, as many physicians are either closed to new Medicare patients, or they severely limit the number of Medicare patients that they will treat. My hope is that I can provide an option for Medicare patients who don’t mind paying for quality otolaryngology care at a reasonable cost, and at the same time, get the federal government out of the relationship between themselves and their physician. I will no longer have to worry about possible Medicare audits, compliance issues, whistle blowers, further pay cuts, the “sequestration”,  “meaningful use”, the endless parade of other new euphemisms for increased government control of the patient-physician relationship, or the non-stop improperly rejected Medicare claims.

As always, I am available to see your patients as soon as possible, and I hope that anyone who has questions or curiosities about  “opting out” of Medicare will feel free to contact me by telephone, or drop by my office to discuss it further.

Best regards,

Samuel W. Vallery, MD

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(501) 609-2300
2212 Malvern Avenue, Suite 8
Hot Springs, AR 71901