Physicians: Should You Accept Patients with Low Paying Health Plans?

May 30, 2013

Is it ethical to turn away patients with a less-desirable payer?

Balancing your medical practice's payer mix is difficult and can be tricky. But with increasing financial pressures on physicians and payers, practices may be considering ways to attract and accept patients with higher-reimbursement payers.

Is it ethical to turn away patients with a less-desirable payer, or to give such patients fewer options? For example, if a patient has a great payer, should they get the physician’s best availability, while a patient with a poor payer gets the least-desirable time slots? Or, should you give patients with better insurance time with a physician, and then give those patients with less-desirable payers a visit with a nurse practitioner or physician assistant?

Are there other alternatives for attracting patients with the best insurance?

Weigh in below in our comments section.

Facing a dilemma in practice? E-mail it to Aubrey.Westgate@ubm.com. We’ll share it without revealing your name, and we will ask other physician readers to weigh in.