Doctors are Leaving Medicare

The American Medical Association says 17% of more than 9,000 doctors surveyed restrict the number of Medicare patients in their practice. Among primary care physicians, the rate is 31%. At the state level:

  • In Illinois, 18% of doctors restrict the number of Medicare patients in their practice, according to a medical society survey.
  • In North Carolina, 117 doctors have opted out of Medicare since January, the state’s medical society says.
  • In New York, about 1,100 doctors have left Medicare. Even the medical society president isn’t taking new Medicare patients.

Full article on the increasing number of doctors refusing new Medicare patients.

Comments (5)

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  1. Devon Herrick says:

    These figures look artificially low. Granted, few doctors can fill all their appointment time slots without taking some Medicare patients since the bulk of people seeking care are of Medicare-age. At the same time, few doctors can turn a profit accepting only Medicare patients.

    Medicare rationing is more subtle. Physicians can restrict the number of Medicare enrollees they treat – seeing only those who are already patients. In addition, doctors may only schedule an appointment for Medicare patients if open time slots are not likely to be booked by better-paying patients. Another trend is many primary care providers are turning to concierge practice models.

    A recent article advised people approaching Medicare eligibility to begin looking for a primary care doctor who takes Medicare at least one year in advance. This is likely to get worse as Congress cuts Medicare spending by $523 billion over the next 10 years and Baby Bookers begin retiring in droves.

  2. Bruce says:

    This is only the beginning. Once ObamaCare kicks in the rationing problems are going to soar and that is going to be bad news for the elderly.

  3. Joe S. says:

    With 32 millon newly insured and no new doctors, the access to care problem is going to get very severe.

  4. Stephen C. says:

    I think a lot moe doctors are going to leave the program.

  5. Neil H. says:

    I think we are experiencing the calm before the storm.