When Medicare is unusable.

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Well, it finally happened. I've heard for years that doctors were dropping Medicare, but hadn't experienced it myself. I was trying to get to see a psychiatrist, and now I find that there aren't any in this whole general area that accept Medicare. What good is it to have Medicare if no doctors don't accept it? Is this the future for Medicare patients. Somebody else had told me that they were having trouble finding a primary doctor that accepts Medicare in another part of the state. Is the AMA at war with the government over the lack of acceptable compensation? That's what it sounds like to me.

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Unfortunately, the NP was really clueless about psychiatric conditions. Even I could tell that. So, for now, I'm getting an antidepressant prescribed by my primary care doctor and getting no other treatment for my mental health problems. There really aren't any psychiatrists in the area that accept Medicare...some of them don't accept any form of insurance at all! The psychologist didn't work out either.
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At long last, I've finally found an NP in the area who can provide psychiatric treatment and who accepts Medicare! I looked long and hard before and couldn't find any that accepts Medicare. But I was talking to a cardiology doc during my annual checkup. He found the NP and set up an appointment. This is so great, because the psychiatrist I saw last month just gave me medication samples for a month...and I couldn't afford another visit...very expensive! There ARE still psychiatric providers who still accept Medicare, but apparently you have to know the right doctor...nobody else had been able to find one!
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lataza

Very true,. Medicare is paying out a lot for what they did for my mom. All told, over $250,000.
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I've got an appointment with a psychologist that takes Medicare! I had called Medicare and spoke with someone who said if there are no available psychiatrists who take Medicare in my area, it's possible to go to a non-enrolled psychiatrist and then file a Medicare claim form myself. But the psychologist I found might be a good solution for now.
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Nasmir I'm moving to your city. lol.
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ChampVA used to be my primary medical coverage, but I'm pretty sure I was required to apply for Medicare when I became old enough...there was no choice given if I wanted to keep ChampVA at all. Now ChampVA is secondary, but that doesn't help. If I can't use Medicare for a doctor, I can't use ChampVA either. I feel like I'm a pawn in a game of chess...and I lose, no matter what! I DID read somewhere that some doctors don't want Medicare Advantage patients because it pays so little. I'll ask my daughter (who is a doctor) about all this when she gets back from her vacation. Maybe she can suggest something.
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The gynecologist that said she accepted Medicare and is even on Medicare's physician's list let me drive over 20 miles to her office, fill out several questionnaires, then sit and wait for my appointment, turned me down. The receptionist said that the woman who made my appointment was confused. The doctor stopped seeing Medicare patients 6 months ago. She said they accepted some types of Medicare but not all of them. Of course, she couldn't tell me what types were accepted. I have traditional Medicare and a Medigap policy. I asked how much it would cost to just pay for a pap smear. She said since I have insurance they were required to file it so they couldn't take cash from me. I couldn't believe it.

You're almost forced to enroll in Medicare because if you don't and you need it later in life the government will punish you with higher premiums. Then they pay doctors so little that they won't take Medicare patients. I have always been able to see my doctor of choice but those days are gone. It's depressing. I guess I'll just wait until an ovary explodes and then go the hospital.
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My best friend found out that the Medicare Advantage plans don't always have doctors in their service area either - a doctor she wanted to go to took "traditional Medicare" but didn't take her Medicare Advantage plan because it paid even less than traditional Medicare. The office person was very sorry, but said that the "extras" that are part of the advantage plans are paid for by lower payments to network doctors.
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It is my understanding that most doctors will take Medicare, but they limit how many patients they can have who are "Medicare"... thus if you want to get to see a certain doctor, you would need to wait until one of his/her Medicare patients leaves the practice. No doctor could survive with having just Medicare patients as Medicare doesn't pay the full fee to the doctor.

Now if you were seeing the doctor prior to going on Medicare, said doctor usually will continue with you after you go on Medicare.

oldandtiredLJW, yes, I also ran into a problem trying to find a psychiatrist who would take Medicare. Eventually I found a person who has their Masters in Clinical psychiatry who I am seeing now and I am so happy I found her... she's my age, and had gone through all the stress/issues of dealing with an elderly parents... whew... she really does understand :)

So try the talk therapy route... you might need to try a few therapist before you find one that clicks. Just remember, a therapist cannot prescribe medications. You would need to go to your primary doctor to get a prescription.
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I had a hard time finding a gynecologist who accepted Medicare. I hadn't been to my old one in 5 years so they considered me a new patient. During that time I turned 65 and went on Medicare. She told me they weren't accepting new Medicare patients. Talk about frustrating.

Medicare was also not accepted by a Chiropractor I wanted to try for my neck and back pain. I paid for the visit because I needed help.
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