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 Post subject: Does Medicare apply to all doctors?
PostPosted: Wed Nov 19, 2008 1:12 pm 
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I know with Medicaid programs, doctors have the option of accepting Medicaid or not. Often, the doctors won't deal with Medicaid as the rates allowed are quite a bit less than with traditional health insurance or private payments. Is Medicare the same where the doctors can choose or do they have to accept Medicare coverage?


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 Post subject: Re: Does Medicare apply to all doctors?
PostPosted: Thu Nov 20, 2008 1:51 pm 
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This may come as a surprise but doctors have been refusing medicare patients.

According to the AAPA Survey of Physicians

Almost a quarter of doctors refuse to treat new Medicare patients, and 20% of these do so because of hassles and/or threats from Medicare carriers;
More than 1/3 of doctors have trouble finding referral doctors for Medicare patients;
More than 1/3 are restricting services to Medicare patients
Almost 20% give Medicare patients a lower priority for appointments;
A majority of doctors have an increased fear of investigation or prosecution;

Source: http://www.aapsonline.org/medicare/medrep.htm


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 Post subject: Re: Does Medicare apply to all doctors?
PostPosted: Tue Dec 02, 2008 5:06 am 
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When Medicare patients seek care, they often find themselves locked out of the medical system.

In a 2006 report from the Center for Studying Health System Change, a nonprofit research group based in Washington, nearly half of all doctors polled said they had stopped accepting or limited the number of new Medicare patients.


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 Post subject: Re: Does Medicare apply to all doctors?
PostPosted: Tue Dec 02, 2008 12:07 pm 
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Joined: Wed Nov 19, 2008 12:57 pm
Posts: 39
darwin wrote:
This may come as a surprise but doctors have been refusing medicare patients.

According to the AAPA Survey of Physicians

Almost a quarter of doctors refuse to treat new Medicare patients, and 20% of these do so because of hassles and/or threats from Medicare carriers;
More than 1/3 of doctors have trouble finding referral doctors for Medicare patients;
More than 1/3 are restricting services to Medicare patients
Almost 20% give Medicare patients a lower priority for appointments;
A majority of doctors have an increased fear of investigation or prosecution;

Source: http://www.aapsonline.org/medicare/medrep.htm


This may change with the Obama administration. One of his goals was to get all medical facilities computerized to cut back on the paperwork associated with most insurances, Medicare and Medicaid included.

I have a feeling that doctors may be forced to change those policies that exclude patients based on their health coverage, and Obama has great motivation to see this through. His experience watching his mother die of cancer and the struggles she had with health insurance companies give him insight that most presidents have never had.


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 Post subject: Re: Does Medicare apply to all doctors?
PostPosted: Thu Dec 04, 2008 5:01 pm 
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I certainly hope Obama does make some changes with this Diana. This just does not seem right for doctors to turn down patients because of their coverage. It also leads me to wonder if the doctors who do accept medicare are as qualified as those you might see if you had private insurance?


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 Post subject: Re: Does Medicare apply to all doctors?
PostPosted: Fri Dec 05, 2008 10:38 am 
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That is a concern that I have seen with Medicaid in the past. Many of the doctors seem to exist just to milk the government of money throught the Medicaid program and several in my area are known to do unnecessary procedures and unneeded appointments and tests. They have been reported but nothing seems to get done as it is hard to prove.


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 Post subject: Re: Does Medicare apply to all doctors?
PostPosted: Sat Dec 27, 2008 12:13 am 
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I posted this under a different thread but here it goes again. You should be covered to go to any doctor or hospital in any state or U.S. territory. If you are enrolled in a Medicare private health plan, like an HMO or PPO, you have to follow your plan’s rules. Sometimes the private plans want you to see their doctors or go to their hospitals so it's always best to check first.


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