November 9, 2009

Critical Condition: Medicare and the health care debate

By barb-caldeira

The Mayo Clinic in Arizona recently made a very controversial change at one of it’s family practices. 


“This is not something Mayo Clinic wanted to do," said Mayo's Public Affairs Chair Michael Yardley. "It was an extremely tough decision for us to make because we know how it impacts our patients."


He’s talking about the decision to stop accepting Medicare at their Mayo Clinic Family Medicine Arrowhead facility. Yardley says the other choice would be to close the practice all together.


For now, 3,200 patients are affected, but Mayo isn’t alone in making these difficult choices.

“You know, it’s really about reimbursement challenges within the Medicare system,” Yardley said.

Reimbursement rates they say haven’t grown with inflation. An issue doctors practices have been struggling with for years.

Medicare patients are just as fed up.

“It’s broken, they ought to just throw the whole system out,” said Florencia Hitch of Glendale. by Jodie Heisner, 11/06/09


Tags: Health Policy, Mayo Clinic Arizona

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