Almost 30 percent of Medicare beneficiaries have trouble finding a new primary care doctor.
Expect that number to rise dramatically in the near future, as the number of Medicare beneficiaries balloons, and the amount of primary care physicians plummets.
The whole scenario is a perfect example of how poor physician access makes medical coverage practically worthless.
Contrary to popular belief, Medicare’s paperwork requirements and pre-authorization obstacles are just an onerous as those of private insurers. Combined with the continuing threat of downward physician reimbursements, and the baseline complexity of a typical Medicare patient, it is no wonder that doctors are dropping Medicare in droves.
This phenomenon with Medicare is likely going to spread nationwide, if the current plans for universal coverage go through without first addressing the primary care shortage.
**This blog post was originally published at KevinMD.com**