So, you don’t want a universal insurance system because you think there will be long wait times. Guess what, they are already here.
A friend of mine who needs shoulder surgery just told me he has to wait until March 2023. When I desperately needed a urologist last February every call I made was weeks waiting for an appointment. Only by chance finding a friend working in an office did I get a quick appointment.
Remember, Medicare is not a universal health care system like in the UK or Canada, Medicare is a universal insurance system and when compared with private insurance interferes very little in your health care.
2022 Survey of Physician Appointment Wait Times
November 01, 2022 • 3 min read Physician
What consumers grouse about waiting a “long time” for a doctor’s appointment, they have good reasons, says a new study from healthcare talent solutions expert AMN Healthcare and its physician recruiting division, Merritt Hawkins.
Bottom line: If you want to see a physician, be prepared to wait, perhaps as much as 26 days—that time up from 24.1 days in 2017. In the survey’s first year, 2004, the wait time was 21 days.
The survey highlights the need for more physician career opportunities to stem the tide of “not enough doctors to go around.”
Dermatology Longest Average Waits
From March through mid-May 2022, the companies’ research specialists called randomly selected physicians in five medical specialties: cardiology, dermatology, obstetrics-gynecology, orthopedic surgery, and family medicine, to make appointments for non-emergent medical problems.
They contacted at least 10 separate physician offices per specialty, per large metropolitan area—the optimum number was 20. First appointment times were obtained from a total of 1,034 distinct physician offices, the companies said. Research specialists also asked offices whether the doctors accepted Medicare or Medicaid as payment.
206 Days for a Cardiology Appointment?
The survey also looked at the highest average new patient physician appointment wait time across all five specialties of the 15 areas surveyed. Portland showed the highest at 45.6 days, while New York won the day at 17.4 days.
About Medicare and Medicaid, the average rate of physician Medicare acceptance is 82.4 percent for all 15 areas, a decrease of 4 percent from 84.5 percent in 2017. Medicaid fares much better at 54.1 percent in those areas, up 2 percent from 53 percent in 2017.HealthCareers.com