Nearly 75% of physicians were accepting all or most new Medicare patients in 2008, according to findings released by the Center for Studying Health System Change.
The survey, A Snapshot of U.S. Physicians: Key Findings from the 2008 Health Tracking Study Physician Survey also found that the vast majority of physicians (87%) are contracting with managed-care plans, and slightly more than half (53%) said that their practices were accepting all or most new Medicaid patients.
Almost three-quarters of U.S. physicians were men in 2008—but for physicians under age 40, “slightly more than 41% were women, signaling how the composition of the physician workforce may change in the future,” according to the survey.
More than 80% of physicians surveyed worked full-time last year; more than half (53%) were 40 to 55 years old; and almost four in 10 had practiced medicine for more than 20 years. Fewer than six in 10 physicians provided charity care in 2008.
“Physicians' clinical decisions affect how up to 90% of every healthcare dollar is spent, so understanding how physicians are organized and practice medicine is critical for policymakers, especially as they engage in the most serious discussion of comprehensive healthcare reform in 15 years,” the center's President Paul Ginsburg said in a written statement.
The 2008 survey was funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and included responses from more than 4,700 physicians who provide at least 20 hours per week of direct patient care.