By Melinda Beck | The Wall Street Journal
Fewer American doctors are treating patients enrolled in the Medicare health program for seniors, reflecting frustration with its payment rates and pushback against mounting rules, according to health experts.
The number of doctors who opted out of Medicare last year, while a small proportion of the nation’s health professionals, nearly tripled from three years earlier, according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the government agency that administers the program. Other doctors are limiting the number of Medicare patients they treat even if they don’t formally opt out of the system.
Even fewer doctors say they won’t accept new Medicaid patients,
and the number who don’t participate in private insurance contracts, while smaller, is growing—just as millions of Americans are poised to gain access to such coverage under the new health law next year.
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