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My 96 yo mom is in excellent health but since moving in w/her 18 months ago I've marked definite short-term memory decline. We've discussed it and I suggested we find a geriatric specialist to help both of us manage realities and expectations. Problem is, she's with a major PPO network and we were told that service is only available for patients already in hospice. Hello! Mom could easily live another 10 years, based on her current condition and family history. She still drives! I don't quite understand why her PPO has decided to allocate resources this way. Her GP had no explanation. Does this have something to do with Medicare rules? Not suggesting hospice patients don't merit the specialist care. Just wodering if it's this particular provider or a universal Medicare policy. Going outside network is not an option. Changing PPOs might be. Thanks

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Geaton777, I don't know if med schools promote geriatric specialties or not, but this was my niece's specialty when she earned her PA degree.   

I suspect that some fields are more lucrative, and help pay off those  massive medical school debts, if they include the prospect of frequent surgeries.  I've noticed that the 2 really top orthopedic doctors who've treated us are noted in Health Grades for doing knee and hip replacement surgeries.   

I only cite the HG specialties b/c when I tried to locate these two doctors, HG came up on the Google hits before the doctors' hospital affiliations.  I guess  HG pays better than the hospitals and gets top listings from Google.
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Yes, there are not enough of them for sure. I think partly because it is not a "sexy" specialty, partly the docs are dealing with a more challenging clientele, and partly because of Medicare reimbursement (not every senior has a great "gap" plan). Geriatricians deal a lot with drug interaction issues, also complicated and challenging. And who knows if med schools even "promote" this specialty? When students are young and choosing a specialty, I can't image this pops to forefront of their minds. Many of those students don't even have very old grandparents at that point in life. I wished med schools or states would incentivize med students into this specialty, but maybe our voices haven't been loud enough for them to know it's even a problem?
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When my sister worked in a psych hospital, through the state system, the health care offered was through a PPO.   Based on her experiences, I knew that I would NEVER get insurance or deal with PPOs.   

I don't think it has anything to do with Medicare; we had Medicare plus BCBSM Medigap Plan C and never had any problem choosing our own doctors.  

I did find that there aren't that many geriatric specialists, as, say,  there might be doctors in other fields.
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