I Just read an article in the Houston Chronicle written by Todd Ackerman entitled, "More Texas Doctors opting out of Medicare." The article addresses the same issues that were raised in the New York Times article that I blogged about yesterday (see entry below).
Wednesday, July 9, 2008
This article takes the national problems of medicare and puts them on a state level which is nice, since I now live in Texas (spits). Two quotes that struck me were:
"Only 58 percent of doctors in the state now accept new Medicare patients, according to a recent survey by the Texas Medical Association, down from an estimated 90 percent before 1990. Among primary-care doctors, the percentage is 38 percent."
"With reimbursements cut 20 percent in inflation-adjusted dollars the last seven years, many such doctors are having a hard time making a go of it. Houston internist Lisa Ehrlich found that the only way she could keep her current patients as they became eligible for Medicare was not to take on new Medicare patients."
I always knew in the back of my mind that primary care doctors were taking hits on this issue. I did not know that they have almost stopped taking new Medicare patients all together. It is unfortunate that patients who have been paying into this system are now getting stonewalled by no fault of their own. It seems that to many hands are in the Medicare cookie jar and its pretty obvious that its not doctors stealing the cookies!
I was not surprised when I heard that a few doctors were not going to take new Medicare patients. When I read the New York Times article yesterday I thought to myself, "Hey you big stud, we are going to see a future mass exodus away from Medicare."
To my chagrin, the numbers of the future seem to be here today!
you can read the article here.