Why Some Doctors Don't Accept Medicare

The people at About.com answered this question from a reader regarding doctors that do not accept Medicare assignment. For an aging generation of “boomer’s”, as well as those already on Medicare, the answers are enlightening.

Medicare regularly cuts the rates of reimbursement, which means doctors earn less for office visits and various procedures

There is a longer delay than ever before for doctors to get reimbursements from Medicare

Medicare has a very convoluted, bureacratic process that allows some tests and treatments, refuses to pay for others, and limits how a doctor can practice medicine

Private insurers set low reimbursement rates for various services and treatments, rates that may not even cover a doctor’s overhead.

Insurers often systematically make reimbursement deliberately difficult, complicated and time-consuming.

When reimbursement is approved, payments from insurers can be extremely slow to reach the physician.

Doctors may need additional staff to handle the extra paperwork, phone calls, resubmissions, and negotiation with insurance companies.

Roughly 1 in 5 covered participants over age 65 have opted for Medicare Part C, commonly referred to as Medicare Advantage Plans. These plans have been targeted by the Obama administration for reduced funding. This makes the future of these attractive plans questionable.

With anticipated cuts in reimbursement to doctors who accept Medicare assignment, plus reduced funding for Medicare Advantage Plans, you can expect your costs to rise significantly and the availability of doctors willing to treat Medicare patients to be reduced.

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