What Are the Common Reasons Why Doctors Do Not Take New Patients?


Quick Answer

Common reasons that doctors do not take new patients include having too many patients already, avoiding burnout and retirement plans, according to American Medical News. Other reasons include avoiding Medicare patients, individuals under certain insurance plans and uninsured patients, explains About.com.

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Full Answer

Doctors who take on Medicare patients and those with certain insurance plans must often add more staff to handle the increased load in paperwork, negotiations and phone calls, About.com reports. Medicare processes are complicated and have relatively low reimbursement rates. The same is true for some insurance plans, which discourages doctors from taking on those types of patients.

The optimal number of patients a doctor has depends on how much she wants to work and what she envisions as her perfect work-life balance as well as her passions, income goals and productivity goals, explains American Medical News. The practice of doctors carrying fewer patients has become more prevalent as more doctors choose to pursue a higher quality of life. Signs that a doctor needs to cut down patient load include irritability, depression, frustration and the feeling that her practice is too focused on quantity at the expense of quality. Doctors who are not taking new patients due to retirement or departure plans should inform their patients in the spirit of full disclosure to give patients plenty of time to find new doctors.

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