In 2014, Hip and Knee Replacement for Medicare Recipients May Change – What Should You Know? What Can You Do?

We understand how important it is to have the freedom to choose your own physicians when you need joint replacement care. Knowing that you’ve chosen the best doctor is essential to feeling comfortable and confident about a procedure that can dramatically change your life.

That’s why we want to inform you about pending changes in Medicare – changes that may limit your ability to choose the physician you trust most for hip and knee replacement surgery.

Here’s what’s happening:

This November, Medicare may severely cut the rate of 2014 payments to orthopaedic surgeons for hip and knee replacement surgery. The result may be that fewer doctors will accept Medicare, which means that you may lose the choice of your preferred physician and may have to wait longer to receive care from someone else.

Unfortunately, current Medicare reimbursement rates are already low enough that physician offices everywhere are challenged to cover their costs. And so far, the debate on lowering reimbursement rates has been behind closed doors, leaving no time for physicians or patients to respond.

You can be heard and make a difference. If you want to continue to see the orthopedist of your choice and believe there should be open dialogue on the issue, let your congressional representative or the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) know.

Here are your options:

  1. Send an email message to your congressional representative (see below).
  2. Send a letter to Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) using the attached example or your own letter.

Here’s how to send an email message to your congressional representative.

  1. Click this link Search to find your local congressional representative.
  2. Enter your zip code.
  3. Click “Find Your Rep By Zip.” If your zip code yields more than one representative, simply provide the additional information requested.
  4. Click on the web link for your representative.
  5. Once on the representative’s website, click “Contact” and complete the online email form or mail your letter to the office address provided.

Please feel free to write your own comment or use a version of the text provided:

Dear Congressional Representative:

I am against possible large cuts in Medicare payments to surgeons providing hip and knee replacement procedures. I am concerned that this change will limit my choice and access to high quality care. I also feel changes like this require a full and fair hearing and that physicians and patients should have their voices heard. To protect the quality, choice and access to joint replacement care, I believe Medicare should not cut payments for these important procedures – especially without public input.


If you have any questions, please contact your doctor here at Illinois Bone & Joint Institute for more information. We are all dedicated to providing the highest quality care and protecting access to excellence. Thank you!

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