Survey Shows Physicians Limiting Practice Access for Medicare and Medicaid Patients

More than 50 percent of physicians have limited access to their practice for Medicare patients or are planning to do so in the future according to a recent survey commissioned by the Physicians Foundation. In addition, 26 percent of survey respondents have stopped seeing additional Medicaid patients at this time. Physicians cite rising operating costs, time constraints, and diminishing reimbursement as the primary reasons for not accepting additional Medicare and Medicaid patients.

The survey also indicates that physician morale is low with more than 75 percent of respondents being pessimistic about the future of the medical profession. Physicians are not uniform in their opinions, with younger, female, employed, and primary care physicians being generally more positive about the profession.

The survey, conducted this spring by Merritt Hawkins via email, was sent to more than 600,000 physicians across the United States with 13,575 responding.

New Strategy Aims To Ensure Postoperative Evaluations

From Anesthesia News, October issue by Lynne Peeples

Despite regulatory guidelines that require them, postoperative anesthesia evaluations are often neglected. Ambiguity may arise over which clinician is responsible or patients simply may be hard to track down—either having been discharged without an overnight stay or detained in the physical therapy or radiology departments.

However, a new approach involving an electronic database and a designated resident may help ensure that the potential timesaving, cost-saving and lifesaving evaluations are actually performed. The study is scheduled to be presented at the 2010 annual meeting of the American Society of Anesthesiologists in San Diego (abstract 1307).