Posted August 13, 2013 -- A story by the Wall Street Journal reports numbers released by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid (CMS) indicate that fewer physicians are treating patients enrolled in Medicare, largely due to issues related to payment rates and the increase of burdensome rules.
9,539 physicians who had previously accepted Medicare opted out in 2012 according to data released by CMS. While only a small percentage of the 685,000 physicians that do accept Medicare patients, the number of doctors leaving the program has tripled from 2009 when only 3,700 physicians opted out of the program. Many of those physicians that are still taking Medicare patients are reducing the number they treat. This is the first time that CMS has ever released opt out data related to the Medicare program