Doctors Who Take Medicare Scarce
Beverly Frake moved to the Triangle two years ago from upstate New York.
“Northern winters were getting to me just a little bit,” she explained. “My daughter was here, and she really liked it. She wanted me to come down.”
But, she had no idea that when she became a Triangle transplant that she would be waiting to find a new doctor.
“I moved into this nice apartment complex, big medical complex across the street, I thought, ‘How lucky am I?’ And I went there and was told in the waiting room, well, they just didn’t take Medicare patients,” Frake recalled. “One of the receptionists said to me, ‘Well honey, it’s just going to get worse.’”
ABC11 assembled a team of volunteers with the help of the AARP to be “secret shoppers” looking for a new doctor. We discovered it can be very difficult for Triangle transplants and people aging up into Medicare eligibility to find one.
“It affects everyone. It’s a nonpartisan issue because we all face the issue of growing older, dealing with the issues that our parents go through,” offered AARP State Director Doug Dickerson.
We had our volunteers randomly call family physicians using a list from the North Carolina Medical Society. Our volunteers found nearly 50 percent of the 200 doctors they called are not taking new Medicare patients.