At a time when 56 million Americans struggle to gain access to primary care doctors, more than one in 10 family physicians face the prospect of closing their offices if Medicare slashes their payment next year, according to a new survey of American Academy of Family Physicians members who have an ownership stake in their medical practices.
The number of family physicians who can accept new Medicare patients is falling as instability in the Medicare payment system continues and a threatened 25 percent Medicare pay cut looms.
A cut of 25 percent in Medicare payment to family physicians would have a drastic effect on their ability to care for Medicare beneficiaries.
A September 2010 survey of family physicians who have an ownership stake in their medical practices found that nearly 13 percent of family physicians say they would consider office closure if the payment they receive for caring for Medicare and TriCare patients is cut by 23 percent Dec. 1. Here is a sample of what they had to say, in their own words.
Access to health care is a challenge for Americans living in health professions shortage areas. This map shows the number of counties that are HPSAs, even with family physicians providing care.
If the American health care system did not have family physicians, the number of Americans who had limited access to health care would increase significantly. This map shows the number of counties that would become health professions shortage areas if family physicians were not available to provide care.
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Medicare Physician Payment