More Doctors Turning Away Medicare Patients
Complain that rates, which were just cut, are too low
By Kevin Spak, Newser User
Posted Jun 21, 2010 10:09 AM CDT
BOSSIER CITY, LA - JANUARY 29: Pulmonologist Dr. Loyd Whitley examines patient Robbie Roach, 72, who is on Medicare, during an office visit January 29, 2003 in Bossier City, Louisiana.   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – Medicare rates were cut 21% on Friday—even as more doctors say they’re limiting the number of Medicare patients they’ll see and just 6 months before millions of Baby Boomers flood the program. The American Medical Association tells the USA Today that 17% of doctors surveyed limit the number of Medicare patients they take; among primary care physicians, the number balloons to 31%. Another survey shows 13% of doctors refusing to even participate in Medicare, up from 8% in 2008 and 6% in 2004.

“Physicians are saying, ‘I can’t afford to keep losing money,’” said the president of the group conducting the latter survey. Medicare paid doctors about 78% less than private insurers did in 2008, and that was before Congress allowed an automatic 21% cut to take hold on Friday—though the Senate has already approved a bill to undo that lapse.

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Showing 3 of 36 comments
Brass
Jun 22, 2010 1:21 AM CDT
I'm disabled and retired in a small town. The ONLY doctor in the area that accepts Medicare is the incredibly overworked underpaid Doc at the county health clinic. It can take two months to get an appointment to see him! And, it is only going to get worse under Obamacare. If Obama, Pelosi, et. al. get their way we will have healthcare worse than most 3rd world countries or Russia. Unfortunately this is the 'change' we voted for America.
Realist
Jun 21, 2010 3:28 PM CDT
In a society where even health-care is driven by the acquisition of wealth, how else could it possibly be?
WallyEFunk
Jun 21, 2010 1:51 PM CDT
Sounds like the 4-8 years teachers have in collage are under paid as well then.Time to pay them what there want too ? Government wants them to get no raises. cut down on school days or hours.,( so they don't have to pay them for that day/hours.) Whats good for the goose should be good for the gander as well. But at the same time we limit tha amounts they ask for. The best teacher gets the same as the worse, Maybe time to do that to all Doctors as well then, same pay for all procedures.. Or should teachers get less because of ??? .... before you answer .WTF how can you think that..