Sometime around 2011, a huge wave of aging baby boomers will turn 65 and become eligible for Medicare or Medicaid. And they'll need the coverage, as many can't afford the higher premiums that private health plans charge for those facing a long list of age-related chronic conditions. However, many will face obstacles in getting to physicians who, increasingly, are turning away patients with these types of coverage. To address the problem, hospitals are engaged in aggressive physician recruitment efforts, which should help address the doctor supply issues which create access problems. Observers say that there's no easy, obvious solutions, though health system reform measures offering new coverage options may put a dent in the problem.
To get more background on the physician access problem:
- read this Victoria Advocate article