Small-Town Living Means Doctor Shortage for Some Seniors
It’s hard to imagine living in a small town without having your very own family doctor—the one you and your family have seen for years, who treated your grandparents and now your children. But that idyllic picture is harder for older people to break into these days, reports the Associated Press. Some seniors moving to rural areas are having trouble finding a doctor who will take new Medicare patients.
The article cites a few reasons, including pay:
Medicare pays rural doctors less per procedure than urban physicians because their operating costs are supposedly less. That makes rural doctors less likely to accept Medicare patients.
With cuts to Medicare reimbursement for doctors targeted under the federal health care overhaul, the shortage is likely to get even worse, said Mark Pauly, professor of health care management at the University of Pennsylvania.
Nurse practitioners and physicians’ assistants may fill in some of those gaps, the article says. Have you or your aging parents had trouble finding a new doctor?
Leigh Ann Otte is a freelance writer who specializes in health and aging issues. She covers finding and paying for senior care for OurParents. If you have any questions about this post or need help finding senior-care options for a loved one, call 1-866-483-4896 to speak with a care advisor in your area.