Family physicians are the primary source of medical care for 60% of people age 65 and older who report having an individual health professional as their usual source of care. Elderly and disabled Americans in rural and underserved areas, where family physicians often are the only healthcare professionals in town, would be particularly hard-hit, Goertz said.
"We have reached a point where all patients—children, their parents and their grandparents—face the real prospect of losing their doctors," said Goertz. "Medicare—the program designed to ensure that our elderly have access to health care—could force the very doctors who care for them out of business. And if that happens, all patients in that community—regardless of their insurance coverage—would lose access to needed healthcare."