Study Shows Physician Acceptance of Medicare Patients Has Remained Strong; Number is Threatened by Looming Cuts

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In a recent study, AmeriMed Consulting found that the number of physicians taking new Medicare patients has not decreased over the past six years. However, that number may change dramatically if the SGR cuts are not thwarted by Congress.

With the sustainable growth rate (SGR) cuts looming for physicians of Medicare patients, industry experts are concerned about the effect these cuts will have on the access of care for millions of Americans on Medicare. Should the cuts remain, physicians will see a 23 percent decrease in Medicare payouts, starting December 1.

In a recent study, AmeriMed Consulting found that the number of physicians taking new Medicare patients has not decreased over the past six years. However, that number may change dramatically if the SGR cuts are not thwarted by Congress.

The AmeriMed Medicare/Medicaid study, released in June of this year, did show an already steady decline in physician acceptance of Medicaid patients over the last several years. Out of almost 1,000 physicians polled for the recent TrendTracker, 50 percent who are accepting new patients are not accepting new Medicaid patients, up from only 27 percent in 2003. Of those physicians not accepting new Medicaid patients, the highest percentage consists of primary care physicians. If this trend continues, Medicaid patients will have an increasingly difficult road in accessing physicians practicing anything beyond emergency care.

"A large number of physicians are threatening to drop Medicare patients if the cuts are enacted, leaving large gaps in primary care and specialty coverage for America’s seniors," remarked Jennifer Moody, Principal for AmeriMed Consulting. "Many physicians would rather not take Medicare and Medicaid than deal with the problems they present."

AmeriMed specializes in consulting for medical staff development, community needs assessment, physician market inventories, surveying and focus interview/group reports for strategic planning in healthcare. For more information on this survey, please visit http://www.amerimedconsulting.com or call 888-456-1789. Media and consulting inquiries can be answered via telephone at 888-456-1789 or by fax at 817-820-2330. E-mail inquiries on the survey should be directed to Jeri Chipman at jchipman(at)amerimedconsulting(dot)com.

About AmeriMed Consulting
AmeriMed Consulting is a nationally recognized strategic healthcare consulting firm specializing in medical staff development, community needs assessment, physician market inventories, surveying and focus interview/group reports for strategic planning in healthcare. Our services are based upon a foundation of comprehensive community needs assessments and adherence to Federal recruitment guidelines. AmeriMed also compiles data to track national healthcare trends and provides the tools necessary for healthcare executives to achieve efficient and effective medical staff recruitment, retention and development.

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Jeri Chipman
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