Fewer Primary Care Physicians Take Medicare Patients -- Medical...

When 65-year-old Anne-Marie Russo of Wethersfield went looking for a new internist late last month, she didn't expect to end up so frustrated, after attempts failed with seven physicians. Full Story
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Since: Apr 07

Location hidden

#62 Apr 11, 2008
bbj wrote:
why is this legal? it's all about money in this country...
Is there anyone out there that works for free?
erin

Lake Oswego, OR

#63 Apr 16, 2008
I'm so glad this subject is being discussed! I was floored a couple months ago when I set out to help my mom find a new primary physician after hers retired. She's 78, has Parkinson's, and has Medicare and Blue Cross supplemental insurance. I can't tell you how many people recommended we look at this new wave of "concierge" medicine practices, whereby you pay a minimum of $600/year out of your pocket to have better access to your doctor. I've heard you can pay up to $10K in places like Florida. Sounds like the mafia to me! We met a few of these "concierge" doctors and were entirely underwhelmed, not to mention disgusted with this setup philosophically. We were eventually referred to a large practice here (Portland, OR), only to find out they were no longer taking Medicare patients. Because I know the wife of one of the doctors there, he made an exception for my mom. If it hadn't been for that, I don't know what we would have done. I understand that Medicare presents administrative and financial headaches for doctors, but maybe they should revisit their goal for going into medicine in the first place: to enrich the lives of their patients. If it's cash they're after, maybe they should reconsider their career choice; practicing law or working Wall Street would prove more financially fruitful. By the way, half my family lives in Canada. Sure, the price is right there, but good luck getting in to see a doctor or scheduling a surgery. Since they have dual citizenship, my relatives often end up coming here and paying out of pocket for much needed services. God help anyone who's sick these days.
Mark

Austin, TX

#64 Apr 19, 2008
I wonder how many people who suggest doctors ought to just be willing to take Medicare patients at a loss since it's all about helping people, etc. would really do that if THEY THEMSELVES were in that position. Do any of you really think if you had a small business that literally loses money (I don't mean earns less) providing servics, you would continue to do that? How much money can you lose? Where do you get that money? Do you take it out of your personal savings account, or borrow it from a bank? At what point do you stop the losses so you can stay in business and provide other services? A physician in a practice should not be expected to subsidize medical care out of his/her own pocket, and those who suggest it's unethical not to gladly lose money in order to help people really need to consider how unfair their criticism really is. The reason primary care doctors are disappearing is that they CANNOT AFFORD to lose money. Many could quit and start selling real estate, insurance, etc. and make more money for far less hassle, stress, heartache, responsibility, and liability.
floridamom

Saint Petersburg, FL

#65 Apr 27, 2008
I don't understand why people exect doctors to work for a loss or complain that they make too much money. There is not another profession that devotes so much time and money into training than a physician. There are also few professions that do so much "free services," as physicians. If you go to a lawyer (for example) they don't discuss the case over the phone for free (doctors will discuss labs and previous visits over the phone without charging), doctors don't charge you for all the hours spent researching illness and treatments for your case or for calling at all hours of the night when the office is closed. The demands on physicans are high and reimbursent very often not adequate. How many people complain about the obscene salaries in Hollywood, sports, and government all of whom do little to help people.
While it is true doctors should (and most do) care first about the patient, the effort they have put into becoming a doctor should be adequately rewarded. I find it funny that no one complains when the plumber charges $100 just to look at the problem and then the fees for service and parts (which are often more than a primary care physician makes in an equal amount of time) or the fact that people spend thousands on their pets at the vet (without insurance), yet these same people complain about a $50 co-pay.
If you really want to take money out of the picture, you need to get rid of insurance companies who delay payments to the doctor for services by an average of 45 days (can you imagine waiting 45 days to get paid for your work while still having to pay all your bills) and go back to reasonable fee for service payments. Allow Medical Students who have been accepted to school to attend for free (this would give people some incentive to want to go through all the abuse and complaints that are inherent in medicine as well as allow them to be happy about their decrease in pay and increase in work hours) The other thing is to get rid of the lawyers who sue for everything and force doctors to order extra tests and increase hospital visits just to make certain they won't be sued.
The bottom line is that health care is not a right, it is a privilege and a service related business. If the goverment is going to pay for this as a "right" there are much more important things it should pay for first: Shelter (what good is good health if you have no place to live) and Food (you can't be healthy long if you can't eat!) come to mind. I would much rather have free food than health care!!
floridamom

Saint Petersburg, FL

#66 Apr 27, 2008
Can you imagine how the economy would be if all business were expected to run as you expect medicine to run? Just a quick example:
I take my lexus to the dealer and give them $20 to do a complete inspection, tire rotation, fluid exchange, filter change...the works and expect to not wait more than an hour. And while I am there for my appointment, I bring my wife's car in (since I am already there). I will give them another $20 because her car had an accident 5 years ago and she feels that it might be pulling a little to the right, so I just want them to do an inspection to make sure it is ok. Also, my daughter hasn't had her new car looked over so could they (for $20) run all the test and do a complete inspection since we are already here? Oh, by the way, I don't like the regular oil in my car. I have seen a comercial on TV that the synthetic super-charger oil is much better (even though it costs the dealer more) so I only want that in my car for no extra charge. And my daughter has to be at schoo and can't wait, so can you either drive her to school, or write and excuse for her (for the same $20), and please hurry because my wife has an appointment in 1 hr for which she can't be late. And can you please fill out this paperwork for my wife to have the government pay for installation of the lazer cruise control and automatic parallel parking added to the car because it bothers her neck to have to turn to much since the accident 5 years ago
floridamom

Saint Petersburg, FL

#67 Apr 27, 2008
Don Rickles wrote:
<quoted text>
Hey don't get mad at me because you had to resort to selling Your AZZ on the streets of Hartford for cash.
Can you imagine how the economy would be if all business were expected to run as you expect medicine to run? Just a quick example:
I take my lexus to the dealer and give them $20 to do a complete inspection, tire rotation, fluid exchange, filter change...the works and expect to not wait more than an hour. And while I am there for my appointment, I bring my wife's car in (since I am already there). I will give them another $20 because her car had an accident 5 years ago and she feels that it might be pulling a little to the right, so I just want them to do an inspection to make sure it is ok. Also, my daughter hasn't had her new car looked over so could they (for $20) run all the test and do a complete inspection since we are already here? Oh, by the way, I don't like the regular oil in my car. I have seen a comercial on TV that the synthetic super-charger oil is much better (even though it costs the dealer more) so I only want that in my car for no extra charge. And my daughter has to be at schoo and can't wait, so can you either drive her to school, or write and excuse for her (for the same $20), and please hurry because my wife has an appointment in 1 hr for which she can't be late. And can you please fill out this paperwork for my wife to have the government pay for installation of the lazer cruise control and automatic parallel parking added to the car because it bothers her neck to have to turn to much since the accident 5 years ago
Miss Anthropic

Wallingford, CT

#68 Apr 28, 2008
floridamom wrote:
I don't understand why people exect doctors to work for a loss or complain that they make too much money. There is not another profession that devotes so much time and money into training than a physician. There are also few professions that do so much "free services," as physicians. If you go to a lawyer (for example) they don't discuss the case over the phone for free (doctors will discuss labs and previous visits over the phone without charging), doctors don't charge you for all the hours spent researching illness and treatments for your case or for calling at all hours of the night when the office is closed.
omg, there are still doctors who actually DO all that stuff? Research? Phone conversations? Do they have unicorns in the waiting room too?
Miss Anthropic

Wallingford, CT

#69 Apr 28, 2008
Middletown Joe wrote:
<quoted text>
Is there anyone out there that works for free?
Mothers and wives.
Andrea

Waterbury, CT

#70 Aug 5, 2008
My daughter has many health issues. She recently was approved for disability after waiting more than 3 years. Now she cannot find a primary doctor who will accept Title 19. Our state is the worst state for medical for people who need to be on assistance. She lives in Naugatuck, CT. Does anyone have a solution

Since: Jun 07

Avon, CT

#71 Aug 6, 2008
Andrea wrote:
My daughter has many health issues. She recently was approved for disability after waiting more than 3 years. Now she cannot find a primary doctor who will accept Title 19. Our state is the worst state for medical for people who need to be on assistance. She lives in Naugatuck, CT. Does anyone have a solution
Yes. I was/am in the exact same situation. I did a lot of alternative health research on the internet over the past eight years and turned to all natural non-toxic health care and have had much improvement.

Have your daughter join http://www.crazysexylife.com a wellness community that emphasizes natural do-it-yourself health care.

Since: Jun 07

Avon, CT

#72 Aug 6, 2008
Andrea wrote:
My daughter has many health issues. She recently was approved for disability after waiting more than 3 years. Now she cannot find a primary doctor who will accept Title 19. Our state is the worst state for medical for people who need to be on assistance. She lives in Naugatuck, CT. Does anyone have a solution
If her doctors can not figure out what is wrong with her, and that is why she is on disability, it is probably dental related and that is why her doctors can't figure it out.

Google "amalgam illness".

Also, less than 15% of dentists perform oral cancer screenings.
Nana Banana

Sugar Land, TX

#73 Oct 14, 2008
Today, I was refused service by a Internal Med group here in Houston. I am 68 and have Aetna PPO --Open choice as my Primary Health Insurance as hubby is 6 years younger and carries me on his plan. I was shocked when this stern, adamant gal informed me that I would have to go elsewhere. I told her I have Cash and Good Primary Insurance but that did not cut it. She informed me that they do not want 65 and older patients...Period! She asked me to see some doctors in training, i.e. Residents? Interns? and she transferred me. I was insulted that this is the best I an entitled to. Is this what the golden years have come to? Is this discrimination? She said they would take my husband but not me at any price. I feel they think Oldies take up too much of their time...I would rather go to the Clinic in the grocery stores than be seen by young Residents...At least I can get a cup of coffee and relate to the older PA's that these in store clinics hire. Shame on them!
frustratedsenior

Madison, CT

#74 Mar 7, 2009
Dear Dr. justthe facts. How would you like to work hard for 50years and can't find a Doctor. I paid into the system and now when I need it, it isn't there. Don't compare us to a Doctor. I drive a compact not a Mercedez. They have to cut back like the rest of the people in the USA that are going thru hard times. What about the Oath? Did you see lots of money in that oath?
Hope when you hit the golden years you have as much trouble as the rest of us trying to find a doctor to take care of you. Agree that the pharmaceutical idiots and gov't are gouging us but a Doctor is one of us and has to suck it up.
He could be in private industry and being told he is losing his job and probably won't find another one and may lose his house. THINK before you post an indiotic statement like you did.
Justthefacts wrote:
<quoted text>
If you were told by your boss that your hours were going to increase but your weekly paycheck was going down, would you be happy?
If another company would hire you for more money, or you could keep your job with declining pay but increasing hours, what would you do?
Doctors are like the rest of us. They have families to support, mortgages to pay, kids going to college.
If they are in private practice, they also have expenses. Their expenses are increasing.
If you were a doc, would you tell your spouse and kids that you might have to move to a smaller house and save less for your kids' college education because Uncle Sam just cut your income.
Or would you stop taking Medicare patients who you simply can't afford to see?
Why should the health care crisis be "solved" by forcing the docs to accept lower and lower incomes while hospital managers and drug companies get more and more money?
fyi

Pine Lake, GA

#75 Mar 7, 2009
iam sure your doctor will accept lower fees from medicare and medicaid and may even treat you for free.who here wants to work at a doctors office for 1/2 the going wage?any takers?

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