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Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Fewer Primary Care Physicians Take Medicare Patients

This is the 800 lb gorilla that the universal health care advocates don't want to tackle. Doctors can't take Medicare patients at the Medicare reimbursement rates and make enough money to stay in business. They rely on private health insurance patients to pick up the loss that they get in treating Medicare patients. Recently a report came out that Medicare as it is will go broke by the year 2019. So if you are 54, you won't likely get the benefits that are available now. I admit that for a patient, Medicare is the best possible insurance that you can get. But from a doctors standpoint, they need private insurance reimbursement rates to keep their practice open. If we create a new bigger government program expect this to be more common. Doctors simply won't be reimbursed enough to provide the services that the community needs. Sure universal health care sounds like a good idea on the surface, but it will never work. The supply is not available to meet the growing demand. And the cost for giving away health care for "free" is way too expensive. Enjoy this enlightening article that neither Hillary nor Obama will want to discuss.

Fewer Primary Care Physicians Take Medicare Patients

By DIANE LEVICK | Courant Staff Writer
April 9, 2008

When 65-year-old Anne-Marie Russo of Wethersfield went looking for a new internist late last month, she didn't expect to end up so frustrated, after attempts failed with seven physicians.

"This is a real nightmare," said Russo, a retired business manager at A.I. Prince Technical High School in Hartford who's now on Medicare.

It can be difficult for people on Medicare to find a new primary care physician, and it will soon get even harder, doctors say.

Finding a new doctor can sometimes be tough for consumers under 65, too, as some overloaded primary care doctors aren't taking any new patients. An increasing number of primary care doctors in Connecticut and around the nation aren't accepting new patients who are on Medicare.

Though not a crisis yet, it's a kind of "perfect storm" in health care. Doctors have complained for years that the federal Medicare program's reimbursements to them are too low, and deep cuts in pay are coming in July unless Congress takes action.

Continue reading the article here.

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