Doctors could turn away new medicare patients

Myrtle Beach, SC - By Chandi Lowry - bio | email

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF)- A new study shows doctors are refusing new Medicare patients because it is affecting their bottom line.

Surveys done by national and state medical societies show more doctors are turning away Medicare patients partially because Congress failed to stop an automatic 21 percent cut in payments.

Mary Lou Griggs is on Medicare and says refusing patients for any reason is unfair.

"I think that's terrible," Griggs said.  "I think we should be eligible to go to any doctor that we would like to go to and also that they will accept us. I feel like I'm being discriminated against because I am older and on Medicare."

Other people on Medicare agree.

"I think it's terrible that patients have to be turned away, I really do," Dee Wagner said.  "Or anybody that has a health issue.  I don't think anybody should have to suffer because of that reason."

Doctor Ron Reynolds with Beach Urgent Care in Myrtle Beach said this forces physicians to lose money, but he is determined to help everyone who needs him.

Reynolds explained the cut will affect doctors in Myrtle Beach and it will also affect people looking to move to the area that are on Medicare.

The Senate's vote came too late and the House will not be able to act on the fix until next week.

Copyright 2010 WMBF News. All rights reserved.