Why we don’t take Medicare

Since the early days of Pre-R (January) many people have asked whether we accept Medicare. Actually, some doctors make Medicare insured patients their bread and butter and accept no others. My own father thinks it would be a good idea for us to join the herd, even if all we want to do is give geriatric vaccinations.


No doubt that Medicare has become great insurance in comparison with all the rest, because they have the largest pool of patients and the greatest negotiating power. Rod Stewart sings “Forever Young”. My father sings “Forever 65.”

But that being said, I simply want to practice low admin medicine. I still see geriatric patients, and they can still choose to pay less than our suggested fees if their money is tight. We can also issue them superbills in case they want to wrestle with Medicare reimbursement, though none of our patients have tried, because their time is money too.

I’ve struggled with the answer to why we don’t chase Medicare until today with this article – A physician’s open letter to Medicare patients. Here’s a sample:

“During and after every visit, I type away at my keyboard, clicking boxes to demonstrate to Medicare that I did my job. My notes, which used to be informative and succinct, now include pages of irrelevant information, disclaimers and computer-generated statements to “document” that I am playing by the rules.”

The answer is selfish. It’s because I want to enjoy practicing medicine. 

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