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Cardiac Patients Across Rural America Risk Losing Access to Nearby Care as Federal Agency Considers Cuts this Week
Date:10/26/2009

Disproportionate impact to rural areas if Medicare rule includes proposed cuts to cardiac tests -- The clock is ticking for tens of thousands of heart patients in rural America as a looming federal government decision that is only days away could take away their access to quality cardiac care.

Ann Arbor, MI (PRWEB) October 26, 2009 -- The clock is ticking for tens of thousands of heart patients in rural America as a looming federal government decision that is only days away could take away their access to quality cardiac care.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is expected to finalize regulations as early as Friday, Oct. 30, 2009, that could cause the outright closure of many rural cardiac clinics, forcing many Americans living outside city centers to travel great distances to get the care they need and deserve.

"We're down to the wire here and hope that our collective voice is being heard as we urge Washington to protect our patients," said Matthew Phillips, a cardiologist in Austin, Texas. Phillips operates rural clinics in Central Texas where he would need to significantly reduce services and the availability of cardiologists if Medicare's final rule that goes into effect on Jan. 1, 2010, which includes proposed cuts to imaging tests needed to diagnose and treat heart disease.

Phillips, a founding member of the Guarding Hearts Alliance, a group of 23,000 cardiologists fighting Washington over proposed Medicare cutbacks that ultimately would restrict access to cardiac care, is not alone. Hundreds of practices could be affected.

The cardiac care cutbacks are based
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Cardiac Patients Across Rural America Risk Losing Access to Nearby Care as Federal Agency Considers Cuts this Week
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