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Medicare Blog | Medicare News | Medicare Information

Physicians Medicare participation on the rise

Posted by Guadalupe Cantu on Fri, Aug 23, 2013 @ 02:33 PM

Medicare SupplementsIn recent years, the numbers of doctors who have chosen to participate in Medicare program have risen. According to a Department of Health and Human Services, it rose by one-third from 2007 and 2011. The growth can also be seen in the 2011; about 1.25 million physicians billed Medicare, compared to the 925,000 of those who billed for their services in 2007, as reported by HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation.

According to Jonathan Blum, deputy administrator and director for the Center of Medicare, the trend "provides a more complete picture of how physicians choose to participate in the Medicare system."

The growth has continued despite the physicians complaints about Medicare payment caps, new paper work requirements, and Congress political delays of the payment of the Medicare beneficiary system, which could lower rates by 30% and is designed to ensure Medicare expenses do not exceed GDP growth.

However, in a Wall Street Journal article, it was reported that there was an increase in physicians opt out rate from the Medicare program, the number had risen from 3,700 doctors in 1997 to 9,500 in 2012, commissioning an investigation to the findings.

In spite of the WSJ article, Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (Medpac), reported that even though older doctors are opting out of the Medicare system, more new primary care professionals are opting into the system, according to Blum.

The researchers found that office based doctors made up 90% of those accepting new Medicaid patients, and Medicare patient found doctors in a timely manner. They also found 28% of the 7% of Medicare patients searching for new primary care doctors had a challenging time finding one that accepted Medicaid the year before. These are rates similarly aligned to those of private insurers, said Blum.


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Source: USA Today

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