The Detroit News: Dr. Karen Kim – Medicare cuts threaten surgical care

“Cardiovascular disease remains the leading cause of death for people in the U.S. As most of our patients are usually 65 years old or older, many of them rely on Medicare, in addition to other types of health insurance. Due to the resource-intensive nature of cardiothoracic surgery, surgeons typically align with hospitals and group practices, all of which will be severely impacted by the upcoming Medicare cuts.

If you layer on top of that the state of the overall economy, the recent surge of inflation, and a huge variety of other financial pressures put on hospitals and practices, these cuts will almost assuredly force many practices to limit their services – particularly for Medicare patients. Some practices may be put out of business entirely. Fewer people will get care, and the overall breadth of care will also decrease. This is the opposite of the impact that we surgeons want to have.”

Karen M. Kim, M.D., is a cardiothoracic surgeon and Assistant Professor of Cardiac Surgery in the Department of Cardiac Surgery at the University of Michigan