Primary care and the elderly

Keep the primary care op-eds coming. Here’s another one from the Denver Post – No doctor for old men:

Primary care “” especially for the elderly “” takes too much time, and it pays poorly. Medicare is constantly trying to cut payments to primary care doctors, while continuing to pay $1,000 for every MRI and $200 per month for non-life-saving drugs. The specialist may get paid several hundred dollars for only two office visits while the family doctor gets only $40 per visit. Why should the PCP work just as hard for less money?

Dr. Johnson brings up the point that the efforts for universal coverage will only exacerbate the problem, as there are not enough generalist physicians to take the influx of newly insured patients.

This will lead to more ED overcrowding, and strain the system further.

The focus should be on physician access, especially with the coming wave of new Medicare patients.

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