Study: Doctors Turning Away More Insured Patients

The findings, published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, tracked the rates of patients who were accepted by physicians -- including those with private insurance and with Medicare.

Bloomberg: Doctors In U.S. Turning Away Insured Patients On Low Payments, Study Finds
U.S. doctors are turning away an increasing number of patients, including those with private insurance, according to a study in the Archives of Internal Medicine. Physicians were willing to accept about 88 percent of patients who had private insurance in 2008, down from 93 percent in 2005, the study released today found. Patients in Medicare, the U.S. health insurance program for the elderly and disabled, also had a harder time finding a doctor. About 93 percent were accepted by physicians in 2008, down from 96 percent in 2005. The drop in doctors willing to take private insurance was caused by low payments for services as well as administrative difficulties, said Dr. Tara Bishop, an assistant professor of public health at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York (Armstrong, 6/27).

NPR Shots Blog: Study: Doctors More Likely To Drop Private Insurance Than Medicare
There's a lot of chatter about how public policy can influence doctors' decisions about which new patients to see and which to turn away. One big question: Does the squeeze on Medicare that has limited the program's pay increases to doctors lead them to see fewer of those patients? Some researchers decided to look at recent data for clues. And they found a slight drop — a little less than 3 percent in the proportion of doctors taking new Medicare patients between 2005 and 2008. But that drop, which still left 93 percent of docs taking new Medicare patients, wasn't much compared with the hit for patients with typical private insurance (Hensley, 6/27).

San Francisco Chronicle: Doctors Turn Away Insured Patients On Low Payments, Study Finds
U.S. doctors are turning away an increasing number of patients, including those with private insurance, according to a study in the Archives of Internal Medicine. Physicians were willing to accept about 88 percent of patients who had private insurance in 2008, down from 93 percent in 2005, the study released today found. Patients in Medicare, the U.S. health insurance program for the elderly and disabled, also had a harder time finding a doctor. About 93 percent were accepted by physicians in 2008, down from 96 percent in 2005 (Bettelheim, 6/27).

This is part of Kaiser Health News' Daily Report - a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. The full summary of the day's news can be found here and you can sign up for e-mail subscriptions to the Daily Report here. In addition, our staff of reporters and correspondents file original stories each day, which you can find on our home page.