Why Don’t All Doctors Have To Accept Medicare?

Medicare is a form of insurance. Doctors have the option to accept an insurance plan or not. Many doctors opt not to take Medicare insurance because of the perceived low payments and hassles they receive for their services. Many doctors feel that the government has dropped the payment amounts for services to such a low rate that they cannot provide these same services without going broke. There is much debating going on between hospitals, private doctors and the Medicare system to come up with a more fair and justified payment plan.

Can I Force A Doctor To Accept My Medicare?

Doctors, hospitals and other medical providers are not required to take any form of medical insurance they do not wish. This also includes Medicare. If a physician does not wish to participate in the Medicare program, it is not required. If you really feel that you need to receive medical services from this provider, perhaps because of their specialty, you can always pay for the services up front and file a claim with Medicare. There is no guarantee that you will receive payment for the entire amount you paid, but you may receive some of your money back.

Will The New Healthcare Laws Force Medical Professionals To Accept Medicare?

At this time, there is no provision that will force any medical professional to accept any form of insurance that they do not want. However, it would always be in the best interest of the provider to accept as many plans as possible in their office. With the upcoming influx of new people entering the Medicare system, it will be hard to stay in business if you do not accept this insurance plan.

5 Responses to “Why Don’t All Doctors Have To Accept Medicare?”

  1. Jorge a gonzalez says:

    As a treating physician neurologist that accepts. Medicare and Medicaid
    Find comments stating physicians would rather not accept
    Medicare because they do not make enough money and would
    rather drive a “Ferrari” is unconscionable. Many of my
    Colleagues still see patients with these policies. The issue
    At hand is that doctors want to be healers
    And collection or billing agents. Medicare is
    A bureaucratic monster that has not been able
    To keep up with the costs of running a practice.
    We need to do conscionable reform of this entire
    Health industry system and stop politicizing healthcare
    By reaping drama votes. I feel sorry for the students
    And residents with six figure college and medical
    School debt and experience a very harsh practice climate
    That is a product of loss of political will by our leaders
    And the loss of autonomy that has made it illegal not to bill
    A Medicare patient. By the way I’m a very successful
    Neurologist and drive a 1992 maxima with
    335,000 miles which is probably greater mileage
    Than most writers that write about what kind of car
    Physicians drive.

  2. dave says:

    Medicare is destroying medicine. soon it will be just as helpful to get medical advice from a mcdonalds drive thru attendant as a medical doctor. Why in Gods name would you want to force a doctor to accept medicaid? Personally I want to live in a state where I can pay my bills and have a hospital that is not constantly overloaded with leeches who pay nothing. there should be one hospital that accepts medicaid and another that accepts payers. if your doctor will not accept medicaid go to the health department.

  3. Suzanne says:

    People who use Medicaid are not leeches. Working people pay for Medicare all their lives through payroll deductions with the expectation that when they reach 65 they will have some form of insurance to rely on.

  4. Amber says:

    Government has no business in healthcare; however, I guess that ship has sailed so can they at least get it right?

    Referring to people as leeches on the system is simply inaccurate and extremely insulting. My family ended up on medicaid after my daughter was born with a serious medical condition, and I had to care for her at home, taking a pay cut, but not ever quitting work. We’re married, tax-paying, working American citizens who had a sick kid in the children’s hospital for months at a time. This drained our savings with the very first bill, which was $87 grand – that’s more than a year’s salary for my family. We’re still paying medical bills. You can’t blame people for being poor anymore – if the recent turns in economic conditions have done one thing, it’s made us see that.

    Even though we had to be on medicaid, I do believe the program is broken. Our doctor said my daughter needed her 2nd surgery and could not wait. I did not want her to end up on an organ transplant list, but these programs wouldn’t pay to get the surgery when she was well and it had the best chance of success – so what is the point? These programs try to dictate things that are not possible to control in a cookie-cutter format. Individual doctors and families have to make these decisions, for the best of the patient’s well being.

    If they want to get involved, why not just give participants a card so that they can pay for “general” services with whatever doctor they need to, when they need to (this would include check-ups, minor sick visits and preventative vaccines. Using less services would result in less charges, and money could accumulate over time – they could only use this for medical expenses, but they could pay for something like, say braces if they were conservative in their health care choices – this would encourage people to use less. If hospitalization is required, they could be bumped to another tier of the program; which would address payments as filed and would utilize some of the existing system infrastructure. This would significantly reduce the overhead costs for the government, monitoring programs and also problems with delay of payments to doctors. Additionally, the government should pay for more of doctor’s education expenses – this could be in the form of a credit/debit, that when they graduate the doctor would work off “hours” toward this “education debt” in the form of services to qualifying medicaid/medicare patients. That would make every single new doctor a fresh source for low-cost healthcare services. Additionally, it would insure that the doctor could choose for themselves how to budget those low cost visits with their own patients, which would allow them to off set the decrease in pay in a way that wouldn’t put them out of business and as they matured in their career they would naturally make more money/profit as the number of patients they saw on these programs diminished. (They could agree to a certain percentage of patient basis upon enrolling in the education credit program, which would keep them seeing some of these low-income patients for the entirety of their career.) The government could offer more tax deductions for anyone going into the healthcare field, and most specifically address the expenses that drive up health care costs.

    Everyone want’s to slap the doctor’s hand, they want to accuse the the poor patient of laziness, but they are not the root of the problem.

  5. John says:

    I am a Medicare Advantage enrollee and none of the doctors I trust to treat me participate in the Medicare program. Can I purchase a private policy that will cover the services of these physicians?

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