Doctors dating patients in arizona

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"There are always going to be some communities where this is going to happen," said David Sayen, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services regional administrator based in San Francisco. We want to make sure that doesn't happen." After White moved to Prescott Valley from Sacramento more than five years ago, he called doctor after doctor as he sought to land a slot for a checkup.When he said he had Medicare, the government's insurance program mainly for those aged 65 and older, he was repeatedly told to find another doctor.This year, Medicare threatened a pay cut for doctors of 21.5 percent, only to give doctors a two-month reprieve that will expire at the end of February.

The situation is pronounced in Yavapai County, where one out of four residents is enrolled in Medicare, a rate nearly twice the national average. Fewer young doctors are choosing careers in primary care because it pays less than specialties such as dermatology or orthopedics.

Each year since, Congress has halted proposed pay cuts and approved one-year fixes with nominal pay increases.

But Congress has yet to fix the basic funding formula.

Chic Older, vice president of the Arizona Medical Association, said the primary-care physician shortage is especially acute in rural Arizona.

"If you are in one of the outlying areas, you are best off coming to the urban centers in Phoenix or Tucson," Older said.

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