Newly released data from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) show that the number of physicians opting out of Medicare rose from 3,700 in 2009 to 9,539 in 2012, The Wall Street Journal reported on Monday. Low reimbursement rates and burdensome rules were the key reasons cited for opting out of the Medicare program.
The article noted that the number of physicians opting out is still only a small portion of the 685,000 doctors who were enrolled as participating physicians in Medicare last year. However, other physicians who remain in the system are limiting the number of Medicare patients they treat. As a result, some Medicare patients are struggling to find doctors who are willing to treat them, especially in wealthy areas where many patients can afford to pay for their medical care.