Are More Doctors Leaving Medicare?

Today’s blog is a bit of a departure from my usual EMR and EHR focus, but I think that Medicare is pretty intricately intertwined with the EMR incentives via Meaningful Use, and so I thought I would share some perspective on a recent article that set my mind’s hamster wheel spinning.

Bob Keaveney’s article at Physicians Practice, With Friends Like These… paints a powerful summary to the reason doctors are running from Medicare and Medicaid — left and right — these days and how the New World Order coming in the form a ACOs may put a strain on the relationships between physicians and patients.

Last Tuesday evening, my practice manager was visiting with a freindly neighborhood PCP and her practice manager from down the road.  They are literally a block up as a matter of fact.  My manager was helping them understand how we use our EMR system, Practice Fusion, and how they could do the same.

The conversation at one point turned to why we were seeing a lot of Medicare patient referrals for diabetes care from the PCP’s father earlier this year.  Her father is also a PCP in the same practice here in DC.  She had an interesting answer.  “Oh, he left Medicare and had to find a home for them.  I’m also planning to leave Medicare in January 2012,” she said.  And to think that we just dumped Medicare ourselves on July 1!

Another interesting part in considering this PCP’s story of leaving Medicare in January is that she is probably not planning on going after Meaningful Use incentive money, an idea that I’ve nearly given up on as well given the complexities involved, in particular, to my current situation.  But that’s a completely different story for a different day.  At any rate, read Bob’s article above.  It’s food for a hungry mind as the year in Meaningful Use progresses.

Dr. West is an endocrinologist in private practice in Washington, DC.  He completed fellowship training in Endocrinology and Metabolism at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and opened The Washington Endocrine Clinic, PLLC, as a solo practice in 2009.  He can be reached at doctorwestindc@gmail.com.  Some of his blogs also appear at EHROutlook.com.

About the author

Dr. Michael West

Dr. Michael West

Dr. West is an endocrinologist in private practice in Washington, DC. He completed fellowship training in Endocrinology and Metabolism at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Dr. West opened The Washington Endocrine Clinic, PLLC in 2009. He can be contacted at doctorwestindc@gmail.com.

   

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