KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Report Finds Number Of Doctors Accepting Medicare Patients Is Up

In other news, Sen. Max Baucus took Medicare's top administrator to Montana to meet former mine workers afflicted with asbestos poisoning.

USA Today: Report: More Doctors Accepting Medicare Patients
The number of physicians accepting new Medicare patients rose by one-third between 2007 and 2011 and is now higher than the number of physicians accepting new private insurance patients, according to a Department of Health and Human Services report obtained by USA TODAY. In 2007, about 925,000 doctors billed Medicare for their services. In 2011, that number had risen to 1.25 million, according to the report by the HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (Kennedy, 8/22).

The Missoulian: Baucus Brings Medicare Official To Libby, Seeks Fix For Asbestos Victims
Marilyn Tavenner has a picture of Lester Skramstad on her desk in Washington, D.C., even though she’s never met him – not in this life, anyway – and never will. ... Tavenner, barely four months into her tenure as the nation’s top administrator for an $820 billion federal agency, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, stood at Skramstad’s grave in the Libby Cemetery on a beautiful August morning with U.S. Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont. Skramstad is one of an estimated 3,000 victims of asbestos-related illnesses stemming from a vermiculite mine once operated in Libby by W.R. Grace & Co. – and one of more than 400 who have died because of it (Devlin, 8/21).

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