More than 100 American medical professionals are calling for a federal investigation into what they say are serious allegations of Medicare fraud and abuse.
The medical profession has faced increasing scrutiny following the election of Donald Trump, who promised to slash Medicare spending, and several recent cases of patient deaths and medical malpractice lawsuits.
Medical malpractice cases have risen by about 30% over the last two years, according to the National Center for State Courts.
The American Medical Association is calling for an investigation into Medicare fraud, and the American Hospital Association is also calling for one.
The US Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is investigating the allegations of fraud and malpractice and has asked the US attorney general to open a civil rights investigation into the complaints.
“The problem is that the system has failed and we have not seen the end of the iceberg,” said Dr. Eric Anderson, president of the American Medical Student Association.
“We have been doing a lot of research about the medical profession and the medical malpractices,” he said.
“We have seen this for years.”
We’re not just in the middle of a crisis, but we’re at the tipping point of a collapse.
Dr. Andrew Weil, a medical ethicist at Duke University, told Al Jazeera that the profession has been caught in a “death spiral” because it has been forced to cut benefits, limit staffing and raise costs in order to cope.
“You’re losing people.
You’re losing revenue.
You’ve got this kind of constant downward pressure that’s going to get worse,” he told Aljazeera.”
It’s like a ratchet.
If you don’t go down, you’re not going down.”
He said many doctors are having to turn to “voluntary retirement” or face leaving the profession, as the US Congress is currently considering cuts to Medicare and other healthcare programs.
“If you’re looking for something to work for, you should look for a job that’s stable,” he added.
“There’s not enough money in the budget.””
A federal investigation was initiated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in September last year.”
There’s not enough money in the budget.”
A federal investigation was initiated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in September last year.
The investigation is led by the Office of Inspector General for the Department of Health and Human Services.
The probe is looking into allegations that hospitals have received billions of dollars in reimbursements, with Medicare reimbursing more than $6.5 billion in 2016.
Medicare paid hospitals less than 1% of their total cost of care, a study published in the journal Health Affairs in February found.
In response, the federal government proposed reducing reimbursements to hospitals by more than 40%, which was approved by Congress.
In the past, doctors have said they are struggling to find enough skilled workers to help cover the rising costs.
Dr. Daniela Rangel, president and CEO of the Federation of American Hospitals, told The Associated Press that she and other doctors are worried about the growing number of doctors retiring or leaving the US, as well as the growing demand for their services.
“There are fewer and fewer doctors who are willing to go into the workforce,” she said.
“In other countries they have a lot more medical students who can help them out with the shortage, but in the US they have to go to Mexico and Brazil.”
The United States is also facing its worst year in its history of health care inflation, with prices soaring by more then 30% in February.
“People are being forced to take on more and more of their own medical care,” Anderson said.
The cost of living has also been hitting the hardest in the country.
The median home price in the United States has increased by 10.9% in the past year, according the Real Estate Board of Greater Los Angeles.
Meanwhile, Medicare spending has been growing at the slowest rate in nearly 20 years.
In 2018, Medicare accounted for almost two-thirds of the nation’s spending on healthcare.
The Department of Labor and the Federal Reserve have also said they will raise rates to bring inflation under control, which has been delayed in part because of the health care crisis.
“Our economy is in a much worse position than ever before,” said Anderson.
“I think we’re going to see a big correction.
I think we’ve got to get to that correction.”
He urged the public to not give up hope that a recovery will soon be upon us.
“Let’s stay patient,” he stressed.
“Let’s have hope.”
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