October 2nd, 2012
Physicians for years now have claimed that their practices lose money when treating Medicare or Medicaid patients. Doctors use these assertions to portray themselves as yearning to offer treatment to the elderly or indigent but unable to do so due to economic realities. The specter of bankruptcy is often invoked. Recent studies suggest that physicians may not fully participate in treating the newly insured Medicaid patients resulting from the Affordable Care Act.
The reasons physicians typically give for such refusals revolve around the notion that accepting new Medicaid or Medicare patients would bankrupt their practices. Rarely, if ever, are such assertions questioned in the general press. Doctors regularly employ this argument to forestall any reductions in physician reimbursement.
Are such claims justified, or are they used as a smokescreen when refusing care to some individuals for reasons other than economic survival? The answer to this question depends on the specialty of the physician.Read the rest of this entry »