2010 January 02 Saturday
Mayo Clinic Cutting Back On Medicare Patients

Most Americans who aren't old aren't aware of this but not all doctors accept Medicare patients due to low rates paid by Medicare for assorted medical services. Even the Mayo Clinic, touted as a low cost model for future health care, is going to stop accepting Medicare at one of its primary care clinics in order to cut losses.

Dec. 31 (Bloomberg) -- The Mayo Clinic, praised by President Barack Obama as a national model for efficient health care, will stop accepting Medicare patients as of tomorrow at one of its primary-care clinics in Arizona, saying the U.S. government pays too little.

Mayo claims in the last year it lost $840 million treating Medicare patients. Obama has praised the Mayo Clinic for high quality medical care with low costs. Obama wants to reduce Medicare pay-outs to doctors and hospitals to help finance health care for the younger poor. Of course this will increase the Mayo Clinic's losses from treating Medicare patients.

If you are an American who is counting on Medicare to pay your medical bills in retirement my advice is to question that assumption. The financial pressures on the US government to cut costs of medical care are going to become immense. Future generations of retirees aren't going to get the blank check for medical care that current and last generation retirees got.

I intend to save up a lot of money to pay medical bills in my old age. Already many doctors do not accept Medicare patients. Given the US government's deteriorating finances and the demographic and health care cost trends pressure to cut Medicare pay-outs will only grow. The ability to pay cash can help you get in to see top specialists who otherwise will be unwilling to see you once you turn 65.

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2010 January 02 11:19 PM  Economics Health

Mercer said at January 3, 2010 8:40 AM:

US doctors say they lose money with Medicare but it pays more than other countries do. The US should adopt Dean Baker's proposal to let patients use Medicare money to buy services in other countries. We should also adopt his proposal to make it easier for foreign doctors to come to the US. We should not just accept allowing US medical expenses to continue to outpace other countries without at least trying to use international competition to keep them down.

no i don't said at January 8, 2010 3:18 PM:

How the heck did Cuba come to have the best medical programs, doctors and clinical practice in the Western Hemisphere?
They also have the lowest infant mortality rate in the Americas. Have cured hundreds of thousands of foreign cataract patiens from all over the world, with what they call the miracle surgery. FREE!

Hey, we oughtta nuke those Cubans for being so good and extend free medical care for all their citizens and even foreigners! Who do they think they are?

Bob Badour said at January 8, 2010 4:14 PM:
How the heck did Cuba come to have the best medical programs, doctors and clinical practice in the Western Hemisphere?

By propaganda alone.

no i don't said at January 9, 2010 4:15 PM:

That propaganda must be a really good one since the whole world is buying it -and carrying out-.

No. I've actually had the chance to see it. Of course they don't have the U.S. hopital infraestructure, but they are really amazing. And since it's all FREE -no bull-, it of course seems unbelivable to the average American who doesn't know that they also have free medical care for all -even foreigners- in France, England, Canada, most of Europe, most of Latin America, but hey!! that's too "socialist" for Americans. It's just understandable.


Bob Badour said at January 9, 2010 5:58 PM:

I live in Canada. Canada effectively excludes millions of Canadians without a family doctor from the healthcare system. For many years, I was one of them.

You are a deluded moron.

no i don't said at January 19, 2010 9:29 AM:

Hey Bob,

So you finally come to accept that you are sick. Good for you! That's a first step in the right direction.
Perhaps cases like yours are beyond repair that's why you were supposedly "excluded" from healthcare.

But you always gotta get the last word, right?

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