Doctors declining additional Medicare patients

Alan Wu

August 24, 2010 reports that, as a consequence of the new healthcare reform, senior citizens may face difficulty when trying to gain access to proper care. A report from Cigna Government Services has found that over 80 physicians in the past year have decided not to enter Medicare.

This is on top of 100 other physicians who stopped seeing Medicare patients in 2008.

“The payment from Medicare for our services is less than it costs us to provide those services,” Dr Conrad Flick, a board member of the American Academy of Family Physicians, told then news source.

Flick added that rural areas will probably the be the hardest hit, as physicians are poorly distributed in these areas.

On December 1st, a 23 percent cut to reimbursement rates is supposed to take place, followed by a 6.5 percent cut in January. This could mean that seniors will have an even harder time finding adequate care.

For many seniors, it is important to lower personal medical costs as much as possible. One way to potentially reduce visits or stays in the hospital is by using a senior alert system, which allows older adults to notify family members or doctors of an emergency so that they can receive the appropriate assistance.

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