Report Finds No Drop in Physicians Treating Medicare Beneficiaries

Aug 27, 2013, 9:14 AM

The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) last week released a report that looks at Medicare patients’ access to care before and after the enactment of the Affordable Care Act. The report from HHS’s Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation finds that Medicare beneficiaries’ access to care has remained high and stable in recent years.

The percentage of office-based physicians accepting new Medicare patients remained stable from 2005 to 2012, at approximately 90 percent. That rate is “quite similar” to the number of physicians accepting new privately insured patients during the same time period, the report says.

The report also finds that the number of providers participating in and billing Medicare steadily increased during those years.

“Based on multiple data sources, Medicare beneficiaries’ access to care appears to be excellent: it has been stable over the past five years and is comparable to or better than access reported by privately insured individuals,” the report says.

Read the HHS report.

This commentary originally appeared on the RWJF Human Capital Blog. The views and opinions expressed here are those of the authors.