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Posts Tagged ‘Medicare’

Alaska is one of if not the wealthiest states in the country. How is it then that we are tip-toeing on the edge of a catastrophic nightmare?  The population, like the rest of America, is aging and doctors are not accepting new Medicare patients…

Couple this with an aging physician population, a decrease in the number of new primary care physicians, a low number of residency options in the state,  a lack of interest from a conservative majority state legislature and one’s view of our state of healthcare is as dismal as our recent cold snap.

Another problem is the existence of specific federal laws which tie the hands of many who want to provide healthcare to an increasingly desperate group aged 65 or greater. Medicare reimbursements to providers do not cover the costs of a patient’s visit and federal law prohibits patients to combine Medicare with any other existing private insurance plan.

There are providers who are willing. Many yet, who continue to provide care to long-time patients who turn 65 and beyond. Contrary to popular belief, many providers are spending time and thought on ways in which access to quality healthcare continues throughout life and is not based simply on a predetermined number.  

Thankfully, the Anchorage Neighborhood Health Center still accepts new Medicare patients in Anchorage. The ANHC is a federally qualified community health center and therefore pays a higher Medicare reimbursement rate. 

The willing side is gaining momentum. With help from Rep. Les Gara and committed community leaders, ideas are being generated both in the short and long term needs of a state desperate for help.

For details on ideas brought forth by Rep. Gara and other community-minded leaders, visit:

http://www.adn.com/opinion/view/story/650500.html

AMA’s position:

http://www.ama-assn.org/amednews/2009/01/12/edsa0112.htm

Business POV:

http://www.kiplinger.com/businessresource/recommend/archive/2008/medicare_reform.ncpa.html

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