My mom is on Medicare, can a doctor's office refuse to see a Medicare patient?

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When I first arrived in our new town, I set out to find Mom a doctor. I got good referrals. Every office I called said that they were not taking new patients. This week I needed to go to the doc and called one of those offices. Suddenly, they are taking new patients.
Can a doctor legally refuse to take Medicare patients? No one has come out and said this, so I'm not sure now.

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If you're trying to find a new doc and u have Medicare u need to make sure they ACCEPT ASSIGNMENT ON MEDICARE..which means they bill med and take what they allow as payment..unless u have a secondary ins u will b responsible for balance that Medicare doesn't pay..some doc tell u they TAKE MEDICARE...meaning they r not a participating member of med..if they ACCEPT ASSIGNMENT they accept what med pays...u may have a small balance left to pay but nowhere what it would b if they didn't ACCEPT ASSIGNMENT...doc can choose to participate with med or not some will bill medbfor u and they money med pays comes to u which u use toward paying doc...docs r like people who own property to rent...they can choose to rent to a person who has HUD government assistance for paying rent or not..
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(First, there is one answer - "5 years ago" - that the problem is massive cuts mandated by Obamacare - sorry, that isn't accurate at all, and has nothing to do with the ongoing and historical situations per Medicare). Currently, yes - doctors can (and do) refuse to accept any Medicare patients because of the low reimbursement rate. I personally really resent this whole system, because Medicare is "the health insurance of the retired" ?!!! I am now on Medicare, with a Medicare Advantage plan through AARP. Medicare isn't free - admittedly, it's much less expensive than "real" health insurance - but there is an automatic deduction from Social Security as well as another premium if you choose to have extra/enhanced coverage through an Advantage (or "gap") plan (you can't have both at the same time). I needed a counselor after a severe and ongoing trauma but couldn't find one for months who would accept Medicare. The first one I finally found that would was a complete idiot (sorry, but he was!), and after I poured my heart out for an hour (and recounted the horror I'd been going through for a year), he looked at me and said "So, do you think this has caused you stress in your life?" - Really? I just told him "you're fired!". I now have a nice counselor who just feels everyone should have access... Interesting fact, though - my "United Health AARP" Medicare Advantage coverage requires a co-pay of $40 for "mental health" visits - twice what they charge for medical Specialists - and in fact, more than the amount they actually pay. Since I'm currently going to my counselor once a week, $160.00 for co-pays is a pretty hefty bill out of my pocket? Mental health care shouldn't cost more than any other care!

I think the denial of Medicare acceptance is discriminatory against an entire segment of the population - the retired/elderly - and there should be some system to ensure coverage is available. Maybe there should be a requirement that doctors or clinics/medical groups, whatever, accept a minimum percent of Medicare patients... If this was spread uniformly across the board, everyone would have to "share the pain"? Non-compliance could carry a penalty at tax time (any incentives or deductions currently available - I don't know? - denied?) Something! I've gotten to the point that if someone does accept Medicare I'm somewhat skeptical why - can't they attract enough "paying" patients and have to take the dregs? This is an issue I'm not seeing debated, or even acknowledged, by the current controversies...
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I am guessing that if doctors refuse patients with Medicare, it is because they do not have a contract with Medicare. Therefore, Medicare is most likely going to have to reimburse the patient for what Medicare would have paid the doctor. In other words, you can see the doctor, pay his price, get a bill and submit it to Medicare. Medicare would then reimburse YOU what they would have given to the doctor.
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Not right but yes if they don't take Medicare. There are also some doctors who don't even take Medicaid, so yes. What you can do is either call Medicare and see if they have a booklet on doctors who take Medicare, or you can ask your local hospital. Ask for the hospital admin, start there. Someone will be able to help you get a list of local Medicare doctors. Of course another one might also be social services, you can try that
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Yes, legally a doctor can refuse to accept Medicare as payment in full. Now for that doctor to refuse to accept this new patient because he/she doesn't accept Medicare, they do have the option of charging you and making you pay for their full normal fee. Medicare pays a much lower portion of the fees they charge and Medicare and its supplement must be accepted as payment in full. So if you want to pay full costs, they cannot refuse you - they can only refuse to be contracted to Medicare payments.
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Isn't an apartment owner more like a Doctor than a Hospital? Hospitals receive federal funding and required by law to offer services. Apartment owners are just people trying to make a living off of their personal investments. How could anyone expect an apartment owner to rent for less than it costs for upkeep? I have some experience here. An example was a family that had a son who sit their apartment on fire. While the owner was rebuilding the state sent the family to a hotel. The tenant was suing the apartment owner because he was refusing to let them back in the apartment. The tenants won the lawsuit and moved back in.
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A person can always go to the ER and get care no matter what is their insurance carrier or if they have no insurance.

A hospital won't turn away someone if they can't afford treatment [per a law put into place by President Reagan], but a landlord can turn down a person if that person doesn't meet the income requirements to pay for said apartment and/or has terrible credit.
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As a apartment owner I am required to rent to anyone without regard to their physical ability or whatever, how is that a doctor can put a persons life in jeopardy by refusing treatment because it is their business and they can accept who they please? An apartment owner rents apartments as his business and also needs to make enough to make ends meet. DOUBLE STANDARD!!!!!
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Yes, my FIL limits the number of medicare/Medicaid patients he takes in his office - but doesn't eliminate entirely. The reimbursement rate is lower than his costs & also the reimbursement takes forever.
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Some doctors bill by the medical group, and some of these groups have opted in to medicare. Some doctors bill independently and some independent doctors have opeted out. if a doctor, or group, has opted out, they cannot even take your cash. If they accept assignment, they take medicare, but may not take your HMO plan. If you have a PPO supplement, it will pay if medicare accepts assignment. Generally. If you need help sorting it out, you can get help from SHIP, your state health insurance agency or call medicare directly, which has been, in my experience, the least amount of run around.
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