Fewer American doctors are treating patients enrolled in the Medicare health program for seniors, reflecting frustration with its payment rates and pushback against mounting rules, according to health experts.
The number of doctors who opted out of Medicare last year, while a small proportion of the nation’s health professionals, nearly tripled from three years earlier, according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the agency that administers the program. Other doctors are limiting the number of Medicare patients they treat even if they don’t formally opt out of the system.
CMS said 9,539 physicians who had accepted Medicare opted out of the program in 2012, up from 3,700 in 2009. Some 685,000 doctors were enrolled as participating physicians last year, said CMS, which has never released annual opt-out figures before.
—Melinda Beck, The Wall Street Journal