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Clip and Copy: Letting patients know why you've quit Medicare


A "Dear Patient" letter can help your patients know what to expect.

A "Dear Patient" letter can help your patients know what to expect.

Fed up with Medicare, many physicians are choosing to opt out of the program. (See "Thinking of opting out of Medicare?" in this issue) But how do you tell patients about your decision? Experts say it's a good idea to prepare a patient information sheet describing your reasons and the impact on beneficiaries.

You can privately contract with patients outside the Medicare system, but they'll need help understanding what steps to take, and how they'll pay for your services in the future. Your letter to patients can help guide them through a physician-patient contract, and let them know that they always have the right to go elsewhere for their care.

Patients should also be reassured that you can still render emergency treatment and bill Medicare on their behalf even if they haven't signed a private contract with you.

The "Dear Patient" letter (downloadable below) was adapted from several actual letters physicians have prepared. We encourage you to photocopy the letter onto your letterhead or onto plain paper that can be stamped with your name afterward. Or you can have the letter commercially copied and customized.

—Senior Editor
Dorothy Pennachio


To view the form in Word you must have Word 2000 or better. If you don't have this program you can download the free Microsoft Word 97/2000 Viewer. (You cannot edit an open document in Word Viewer. However, you can copy text to the Clipboard to paste it in other applications).

Other forms and patient handouts are available in the Clip and Copy section of our Web site at www.memag.com .


Dorothy Pennachio. Clip and Copy: Letting patients know why you've quit Medicare.

Medical Economics

Jun. 20, 2003;80:74.

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