Some doctors stop taking new patients because they feel that their practices are already busy enough, notes Medical Economics. Others stop taking new patients with particular insurance coverage, such as through the Affordable Care Act exchanges or through insurance providers that pay claims slowly, notes USA Today.
While the average family practice panel for a primary care physician is approximately 2,500 patients as of 2015, efficiency plays a major role in the degree to which a physician feels busy. If the office staff cannot fit a new patient in for an appointment within two weeks of his call, the practice needs to consider its management practices, no matter how large the practice, reports Medical Economics.
While the Affordable Care Act provides insurance coverage to many people who were not able to afford it previously, some of those people are having trouble finding primary care physicians who accept their coverage. Some of the plans available through the exchanges feature lower reimbursement rates, which makes it less cost-effective for doctors to accept too many of those new patients, according to USA Today. Other insurance providers that either feature low rates or that take too long to pay create problems for patients as their doctors stop taking their plans, as stated by Medical Economics.