The current issue of Medical Economics magazine has an interesting article about medical ethics:
A consequence of fewer physicians accepting Medicare and Medicaid recipients, of course, is that those who continue to treat these patients will be forced to see a disproportionate share of them, and suffer the economic consequences.
FP Patricia Roy of Muskegon, MI, proposes a middle ground. "Nobody can make a living caring for these folks exclusively," she says. "But I think ethically, and in the interest of fairness, we all have to takesome." Turton agrees. "Physicians work within a system," he says, "and, ethically speaking, the burden of caring for uninsured and underinsured patients must be distributed evenly throughout the physician population."
Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement will continue to decline in inflation-adjusted dollars, and possibly also in nominal dollars as well. As a sleep specialist, I will continue to see most patients referred to me by my primary care colleagues, including patients with Medicare and Medicaid.
I disagree that primary care patients have an obligation to work within a broken system and take Medicare and Medicaid. Until PCP's show some backbone, Medicare reimbursement will continue to decline.