Aug 22, 2013 | WASHINGTON — The percentage of physicians who accept new Medicare patients has remained fairly stable in recent years and is similar to — if not better than — the percentage who accept privately insured patients, a report released Thursday showed.
The percentage of office-based physicians who reported accepting new Medicare patients was 90.7% in 2012, roughly the same as the 87.9% who accepted them in 2005, according to the brief compiled by the Department of Health and Human Service’s (HHS) Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation.
Furthermore, the number of Medicare providers accepting new patients surpassed that of physicians taking new private-pay patients in 2011, the seven-page document said.
“For most of the 2005-2012 time period, the percentage of physicians accepting new privately insured patients is quite similar to the percentage accepting new Medicare patients,” the brief stated. “To the extent that there may have been a very small increase in the number of providers ‘opting out,’ that increase has been mitigated by an increase in the share of other physicians who accept new Medicare patients.”