Rejections rise for Medicare patients

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  1. WillowTree
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    By Julie Appleby, USA TODAY

    When Helen Edmonds moved from one Atlanta suburb to another, she began to look for new doctors.

    "The first thing they ask is what insurance do I have," Edmonds says. "When I say Medicare, they say the doctor doesn't take Medicare."

    In Colorado, Charlotte Sennett, 72, and her husband stayed in traditional Medicare for years rather than switching to an HMO, even though it cost more. "We felt it was more stable," says Sennett.

    But now the Sennetts face a problem they never expected: Their Denver-area doctor will no longer accept the traditional government insurance program.

    After years of using an insurance plan just about all doctors and hospitals accepted, Medicare patients are now shocked to find they aren't wanted.

    In some cities, doctors frustrated with what they say are low Medicare payments and onerous rules are limiting the number of Medicare patients they take — or refusing to accept new Medicare patients at all. Some physicians are even telling longtime patients that they have to find new doctors when they hit 65 and qualify for Medicare.

    Once confined to rural areas, the problem is being reported in Denver; Atlanta; Austin, Texas; Spokane, Wash.; and other urban areas.











    USATODAY.com - Rejections rise for Medicare patients











    way to go DUmmies. NO doctors. You stole their money and now there are NO doctors. Asswipes/
     

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