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Cancer clinics across the country attorney -- thousands of Medicare patients cousins why.
Well the clinics are blaming the sequester.
Ted O'Connor is -- executive director of the community oncology alliance he joins us tell me Ted found why are these cancer senators turning away Medicare.
-- problem is Greta is that the sequester cut Medicare across the board by 2%.
And the biggest problem here with cancer clinics is unlike cutting services by 2% of physicians provide.
It's actually cutting the underlying cost of the drugs so you're talking about taking a fixed -- drug.
Fixed cost for a drug that a cancer clinic.
-- dispenses to a patient administers to a patient and you're cutting out underlying cost so the problem is you have a clinic that sitting there and saying.
I've got a choice do -- continue.
On treating these Medicare patients in the clinic as opposed to send them elsewhere to the hospital for treatment for example.
And incur a loss with each one and ultimately not being able to treat any of my patients -- have to close the doors.
Or do -- right away think -- let me work with my patience is a partner and and send them elsewhere for treatment so that's the the in tenable position.
That clinics are being faced with right now with -- sequester which actually was implemented for Medicare on Monday.
I biggest thing -- ever read an article today said North Shore he mentality I'm Italian count colleges associates decided they can no longer CE 13 of their 161000.
Medicare patients it's more than five thousands.
A five -- of their Medicare cancer patients they say they can't see anymore because of the sequester.
So that's that's the problem there every practice and I was on the phone today with over a 150 practice administrators from across the country.
And they're almost like deer in headlights because no one ever thought granted that this sequester would get implemented no one ever thought that it would get implemented for Medicare.
And no one thought that would ever caught the -- drug cost in in terms -- in terms about so.
Practices are deciding what do they do now and.
And what do you -- You know so all is it all these Medicare patients they may pay taxes for decades they've been good GO citizens -- and they expected that Medicare.
And congress said Monday passed all these laws that they weren't gonna there -- -- lay -- glove.
I'm sick on the Medicare in the sequestered they -- gonna lay a glove on the Medicare but they -- so stupid the way they wrote that.
That another hurting the Medicare patients and there -- -- solution it they would exempt cancer drugs from the sequester.
They wouldn't have to deny these Medicare cancer -- some people.
-- love -- medical care.
But you know -- all these people are who created this -- we got President Obama fund raiser that members of congress -- home and their districts some say that there could doing constituent -- -- -- traveling around the world busy different countries when they also re back here in Washington exempting those cancer drugs so those Medicare patients.
Could get their chemotherapy that's just appalling if they'd just come back.
It's -- -- do their jobs while Greg Wright -- I mean I agree with -- we've seen a massive consolidation actually in the last four years before this request there.
Of forty years ago we evolve this cancer delivery system so that you can get treated in your local community and now we're deal vaulting it.
And were consolidating cancer care back again and -- that means patience for through treatment cracks.
That means patients have to guard the hospital and unfortunately.
That cost not only the patients more but of course Medicare more money.
So I I agree with you something has to be done about this immediately before it becomes even more of a crisis than it is.
Well the article that I read -- because cancer drugs must be administered by physicians -- -- among a handful of pharmaceuticals.
Paid for only by part B of Medicare which covers doctors' visits and it's -- it's subject to the sequester cut.
And -- -- you can fix it.
The president that house the senate.
They're not here -- town.
And they're the reason we have sequestered because it didn't do the job begin in August 2011 and their odd town and they cancer patients tonight.
Their -- the Medicare once terrified wondered if -- number is up in terms of getting treatment.
While I -- I know it's a big problem believe me and my wife is an oncology nurse she was treating cancer patients today.
I hear about it every night when when when she comes home in terms of their.
The good things the bad things that happened in the bottom line is this is really very very serious in your -- -- we aren't Tennessee tech noticed just mean -- mean and selfish.
And all these politicians they could fix it exempt these cancer drugs for this Medicare patients they could all do it and they're not here in town they created the problem it's mean it's selfish.
Greta I I totally agree that this -- to be fixed immediately the good thing is at least today.
I've heard from numerous members of congress to say what can I do what can ideal and and and I -- we've come and there's gonna come back content good and.
And ask about -- -- Stop the praise and you know stop taking your two week vacation for the problem you created for everybody out yet come back and -- your job we got elected for because it's very painful what they're doing these cancer this Medicare cancer patients and their -- While we put it we shouldn't put politics we should have put cancer patients in the way of politics and that's the problem that's happening right now.
And we've got to get cancer patients out of that as you said especially seniors.
Our most vulnerable population.
We've got to do something about it immediately so I totally agree with you.
I want the solution let me remind just tell our viewers get all the congress and then all the White House in the house -- -- -- -- -- Is exempt the cancer drugs for the Medicare patients from the sequester.
You know come back and through that Ted thank you and I and I and I regret that the message gets out there thank you -- appreciate it thank you very much.
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