Quote-of-the-day mailing list
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Subject: qotd: Flow of physicians is into Medicare, not out
Date: Thu, 8 Aug 2013 09:47:55 -0700
From: Don McCanne <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To: Quote-of-the-Day <email@example.com>
August 7, 2013
More Doctors Are Quitting Medicare. Is Obamacare Really To Blame?
By Dan Diamond
The Wall Street Journal last month portrayed physician unhappiness with
Medicare as a burning issue, with a cover story that detailed why many
more doctors are opting out of the program.
And yes, the number of doctors saying no to Medicare has proportionately
risen quite a bit -- from 3,700 doctors in 2009 to 9,539 in 2012. (And
in some cases, Obamacare has been a convenient scapegoat.)
But that's only part of the story.
What the Journal didn't report is that, per CMS, the number of
physicians who agreed to accept Medicare patients continues to grow
year-over-year, from 705,568 in 2012 to 735,041 in 2013.
There's more than finances at stake, too. In an informal survey of a
half-dozen doctors, most told California Healthline that they felt
ethically obligated to stick with the program.
Comment: Since the beginning of Medicare, we have heard stories that
doctors weren't going to take it anymore; they were going to drop out of
Medicare. Some have, but it's a negligible number. Those who say that
Obamacare is forcing more doctors to drop out of Medicare will have to
explain to us how that computes with the fact that the numbers of
physicians agreeing to accept Medicare has increased by almost 30,000
this year alone, for an all-time high of over 735,000.
What is more reassuring is the result of California Healthline's very
small informal survey of physicians. They found out what most of us who
have been in the profession for a few decades already knew - physicians
feel ethically obligated to stick with Medicare. What do you think their
ethical sense would be under an improved Medicare program that covered