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Paying a Visit to the Doctor: Current Financial Protections for Medicare Patients When Receiving Physician Services

This issue brief explains provisions in current law that shield beneficiaries from unexpected and confusing charges when they see physicians and practitioners—namely, the participating provider program, limitation on balance billing, and conditions on private contracting for doctors who opt out of Medicare or join “concierge” practices. It also analyzes the implications of modifying these provisions for beneficiaries, providers, and the Medicare program.

Health Affairs Article: Impact of State Tort Reforms on Physician Malpractice Payments

A study in the March/April 2007 issue of Health Affairs analyzes the impact of state tort reforms on physician malpractice claims. The study finds that the tort law changes have had a measurable but limited impact on physician malpractice claims, depending on the type and strength of the tort reform. Commissioned by…

National Survey of Physicians Part III: Doctors on Their Profession

  As part of the Kaiser Family Foundation’s biennial National Survey of Physicians, the Foundation examined doctors views of their profession. The survey found that most physicians say the overall morale of physicians has decreased in the last five years. The majority of doctors say that managed care has negatively…

Medical Errors: Practicing Physician and Public Views

This study by the Harvard School of Public Health and the Kaiser Family Foundation documents the attitudes of doctors and the public about medical errors and their or their families’ experiences with medical errors in the course of receiving medical care. The surveys also compare physician and public perspectives on…

Trends in Medicaid Physician Fees, 2003-2008

This study, published in a Health Affairs Web exclusive, provides the first national and state-by-state update of Medicaid physician fees since 2003. Medicaid has historically reimbursed physicians under fee-for-service at levels below what Medicare and private health insurers would pay for the same services. The study finds that Medicaid fees…

Medical Errors: Practicing Physician and Public Views – Toplines/Surveys

Medical Errors: Practicing Physician and Public Views This study by the Harvard School of Public Health and the Kaiser Family Foundation documents the attitudes of doctors and the public about medical errors and their or their families’ experiences with medical errors in the course of receiving medical care. The surveys…

Medicare Patients’ Access to Physicians: A Synthesis of the Evidence

Congressional debates about the Medicare Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) raise questions about whether doctors are willing to see Medicare patients. This issue brief examines multiple data sources to assess beneficiaries’ access to physicians, particularly vulnerable beneficiaries with greater health needs and other disadvantages. It examines the share of doctors who are participating physicians as well as those who have opted-out of the Medicare program to privately contract with Medicare patients. It includes State analyses of rates of physicians who are accepting new Medicare patients as well as patients with private health insurance and Medicaid.