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Controversial Issue – Walking Away from Medicare

Leslie Kernisan MDReading between the lines, and in the comments posted by readers, this article is throwing a heavy punch in the face of Medicare (the US government’s insurance program for seniors) and it's failure to provide adequate care to older people who require more than a '15 minute visit three times a year' to help manage their conditions. Dr. Leslie Kernisan a geriatrician in San Francisco decided she couldn't stand working in her practice any more and left to start a different kind of practice.

"Today, she spends as much time as her patients want reviewing their medical problems, their prognosis, how their care is being coordinated, and what caregivers can do to help. When people call for help, she calls them back within two hours. E-mails are answered in one business day; a request for a house call generates an appointment in no more than two days."

The price for this service, just $200 per hour, which despite some of the critical comments below the article and the obvious barrier to anyone less than 'well off', is exceptionally low when overheads like premises, staff, etc... are considered. It is not uncommon in the UK to pay in excess of £500 for a private consultation.

Is this the sign of things to come? Will more and more medical professionals opt out of government healthcare to set up their own private practices? Is this a good or a bad thing? Have you had similar experiences? Let us know what you think in the comments below:

Read the full 'Walking away from Medicare' article on the New Old Age Blog.

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