(By – Cristina Boccuti, Christa Fields, Giselle Casillas, and Liz Hamel – Kaiser Family Foundation)
Policymakers, researchers, and the media have periodically raised questions about the ease or difficulty that Medicare patients experience when trying to find physicians who will see them. Previous studies show that the vast majority of physicians accept Medicare, but the proportion taking new Medicare patients is smaller, particularly among primary care physicians compared with specialists.1 Primary care is especially important for people with Medicare—55 million seniors and adults with permanent disabilities—because they are significantly more likely than others to have multiple chronic conditions.
This Data Note presents findings on reported acceptance of Medicare patients among non-pediatric primary care physicians, based on data from the Kaiser Family Foundation/Commonwealth Fund 2015 National Survey of Primary Care Providers. In addition to comparing physicians’ acceptance of Medicare to private insurance and Medicaid, this Data Note also explores the characteristics of non-pediatric primary care physicians who accept new Medicare patients and who have greater shares of Medicare patients in their caseloads. This analysis is limited to non-pediatric primary care physicians, given its Medicare focus. The methodology for the survey is provided in the Appendix. Read more…
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