Rural Physicians' Acceptance of New Medicare Patients


Findings from analyses of national survey data of urban and rural respondents, published studies, and results of a survey of state organizations representing physicians indicate that: 1) The trend among all physicians is to not accept new Medicare patients, 2) The percentage of physicians in both urban and rural areas who are accepting new Medicare patients is declining, 3) Physicians practicing in rural areas not adjacent to urban areas are the most likely to accept new Medicare patients, and 4) Findings also indicate that the negative implications of not taking the necessary steps to reverse the small but important decline in physician willingness to take new Medicare patients may be most serious in rural communities.

RUPRI Center for Rural Health Policy Analysis
Keith Mueller, A. Clinton MacKinney, Timothy McBride, Jane Meza, Liyan Xu