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Why Are Doctors Abandoning Medicare ?

Two weeks ago the Mayo Clinic shocked the nation when it closed the doors of one of its Arizona clinics to patients on Medicare. Just this past June President Obama himself praised Mayo as a model of medical efficiency noting that Mayo gives “the highest quality care at costs well below the national norm.” If Mayo feels compelled to walk away from this government-run program, others will surely follow. The nation must understand why.

Doctors are leaving Medicare for two reasons: one obvious, the other more concealed. The first is simple—the math:

1) For the past decade Medicare consistently paid physicians 20% less than traditional insurance companies for identical service.

2) On January 1, 2010 Washington made hidden cuts to Medicare by altering its billing codes.

3) Medicare will cut physician reimbursement by another 21% on March 1.

Will you or your relatives be affected ?


Asked by Anonymous at 7:51 PM on Jan. 15, 2010 in Politics & Current Events

This question is closed.
Answers (40)
  • doctors being undercut and bartered into debt are sure to walk away. i think there should be set percentages on how much profit offices can gain from certain procedures. therefore, preventing gouging yet still allowing a profit margin to keep offices running and in the black. i watched a special on this very problem on like 20/20 years ago. a surgical center was going under because the surgeon was having to take less for surgeries than what he owed for performing them! honestly, it was one of the reasons i decided to not go to med-school. doesnt pay to be away from your family and go to school for 8+ years just to break even in it all. thanks for bringing it up..its good to expose it!

    Answer by FoxyRoxyMommy at 8:07 PM on Jan. 15, 2010

  • I think its because medicare/medicaid has such a slow rate at paying the bills. Doctors don't work for free and they sure as heck aren't going to wait forever. I don't think its fair. I know a lot of older people depend on medicare to get their health needs met.

    Answer by Alexsmom04 at 7:55 PM on Jan. 15, 2010

  • WEll, for one thing that is not true. They are continuing to accept Medicare patients but the cost of an office visit will be paid by the patient. They are not closing their doors to Medicare patients. Google Mayo Clinic and you will find the explanation. Why would you want to post a story that actually is mostly untrue? The Mayo Clinic is reputable and had its origins in Rochester,MN. They do have smaller clinics in ares in Arizona. Before posting these articles, do your research.

    Answer by Lindalu2 at 8:03 PM on Jan. 15, 2010

  • medicaid/medicare is indebted to Obamas state of IL well over 1 BILLION dollars.

    Answer by Carpy at 8:11 PM on Jan. 15, 2010

  • Lindalu, why don't you do some research? If Mayo is making Medicare patients pay OUT OF POCKET for treatment, it will certainly limit the amount of Medicare patients.

    Mayo Clinic Faulted for Limiting Medicare Patients

    West Valley Mayo clinic nixes Medicare


    Answer by Anonymous at 8:19 PM on Jan. 15, 2010

  • "Specifically, Mayo said last week it will no longer accept Medicare patients at one of its primary care clinics in Arizona. Mayo said the decision is part of a two-year pilot program to determine if it should also drop Medicare patients at other facilities in Arizona, Florida and Minnesota, which serve more than 500,000 seniors."

    Here is what I found.  Sounds like they are dropping Medicare patients to me.


    Answer by Anonymous at 8:21 PM on Jan. 15, 2010

  • WEll...did he have anything to do with this clinic asking patients on Medicare to pay out of pocket for office visits? Medicare has been in trouble for a few decades. But you want to blame him for everything,don't you Carpy.

    Answer by Anonymous at 8:32 PM on Jan. 15, 2010

  • Mayo clinic is not closing its doors to Medicare patientts---SO, if you know how ...Google and find out the truth at Mayo Clinic's site. Not a site that blogs or misinterprets. A MAYO CLINIC site,okay? Plain enough for you?

    Answer by Anonymous at 8:34 PM on Jan. 15, 2010

  • But you want to blame him for everything,don't you Carpy.

    Do you need Mr Obvious to step in and explain it for you.

    Answer by Carpy at 8:35 PM on Jan. 15, 2010

  • actually....the full reason i decided not to go to medical school was so that i could marry my husband who is military. so while he has to move to other portions of the country, id be hog tied for 10 years to one place. oh and lets throw in having a family. i wanted children and to be able to be home with them the first few years of their lives. to top it all off, struggling to get pregnant, being able to stay home while being pregnant was nice. having to do IVF kinda makes the whole experience ultra precious. so as i sit at home with my ONLY child and my one true love, yea id give up all that money in a heart beat. i worked as a nurse's aid to pay my way through college, so i know the meaning of a dollar. i was earning 5 an hour wiping asses, so being a doctor seemed like a good upgrade. in retrospect, to give it up was easy. money was a bonus. i love helping people! to say otherwise is presumptious of you, ANONYMOUS. :)

    Answer by FoxyRoxyMommy at 8:37 PM on Jan. 15, 2010