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Western North Carolina The Mountain Region including Asheville
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Old 12-30-2010, 08:21 AM
 
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Default Finding A Doctor That Accepts Medicare In Asheville

Would like some feedback on the medical community in Asheville. In general, are most doctors accepting new patients? And... if you are on Medicare and over 65, are most doctors accepting new patients? Some areas of the country that are much more densely populated than Asheville/WNC are seeing doctors not accepting new patients that are on Medicare. I am personally not on Medicare but my spouse will be soon due to his turning 65. We have a concern about identifying not only good doctors in the Asheville area that are accepting new patients but also ones that will accept Medicare when the time is appropriate. Our time table for any potential move to the Asheville area is in flux at this time and questions about the quality and access to good healthcare keep coming up. Appreciate any insight from everyone about the Asheville medical community. May everyone be healthy in the new year!
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Old 12-30-2010, 09:07 AM
 
Location: Mid south
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My myopic view: I met a woman who owns a hearing aid store in Hendersonville. She accepts Medicare. She's also getting referrals from people in the surrounding area who no longer accept it.

Beyond that, google your specialty doctors in the area. Call them and ask them if they accept it. Heck, call Mission Hospital and ask if they accept it and if they can provide or point you to a list of doctors who still accept it. - (828) 213-1111 . Personally, I find NC flooded with doctors but without HMOs down here (Nixon's favorite money-maker), it's expensive!

As life these days, next year may bring massive change to this.
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Old 12-30-2010, 10:21 AM
 
Location: Western NC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteelCityGirl57 View Post
Would like some feedback on the medical community in Asheville. In general, are most doctors accepting new patients? And... if you are on Medicare and over 65, are most doctors accepting new patients? Some areas of the country that are much more densely populated than Asheville/WNC are seeing doctors not accepting new patients that are on Medicare. I am personally not on Medicare but my spouse will be soon due to his turning 65. We have a concern about identifying not only good doctors in the Asheville area that are accepting new patients but also ones that will accept Medicare when the time is appropriate. Our time table for any potential move to the Asheville area is in flux at this time and questions about the quality and access to good healthcare keep coming up. Appreciate any insight from everyone about the Asheville medical community. May everyone be healthy in the new year!
There are many doctors here who accept Medicare. This is a retirement area. Just about any doctor who accdepts Medicare will accept a medicare advantage plan as well; however, you should be "in" network and not "out of" network. Secure Horizons and Humana are very big here; never had a problem and no one I know has ever had a problem. Just about any NC licensed insurance agent here can provide you with accurate information about the plans. They provide full insurance services. Home, auto, business, and health.
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Old 12-30-2010, 10:44 AM
 
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Thanks for the initial replies. Hope others will post comments. Note: We have already checked on healthcare insurance. It will be just as costly as where we currently live. And we will be using BC/BS as health insurance. We currently have a very good PPO policy. We are already seeing changes in our policies since healthcare was passed last spring. Things that were for years routine and fully paid/never questioned are now no longer paid for suddenly including brand name prescriptions and standard tests. And it is fruitless waste of time to try and get BC/BS to reconsider and pay even with doctor involvement. So we are being very mindful and aware of all this and how it may impact a potential move to Asheville and living there long term.
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Old 12-30-2010, 11:07 AM
 
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The medicare.gov website will answer your questions and indicate if they accept medicare approved amounts on all claims.
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Old 12-30-2010, 11:14 AM
 
Location: Mid south
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteelCityGirl57 View Post
Thanks for the initial replies. Hope others will post comments. Note: We have already checked on healthcare insurance. It will be just as costly as where we currently live. And we will be using BC/BS as health insurance. We currently have a very good PPO policy. We are already seeing changes in our policies since healthcare was passed last spring. Things that were for years routine and fully paid/never questioned are now no longer paid for suddenly including brand name prescriptions and standard tests. And it is fruitless waste of time to try and get BC/BS to reconsider and pay even with doctor involvement. So we are being very mindful and aware of all this and how it may impact a potential move to Asheville and living there long term.
Oh boy... I had surgery in NY and BC/BS was the provider. I got such a runaround from them (circa 2006) that I was aghast. I called BC/BS - they blamed the receptionist at my eye doctor, I went to my eye doctor and they blamed BC/BS. I don't know who was messing up except I was the monkey in the middle.

The problem here that I see is Humana isn't any better. I also must wonder (I agree with you) if this has become a national problem at this point in time with all the mumbo-jumbo going on with insurance... With 2000 pages in an unhealthcare bill supported and encouraged by insurance companies, well, it's all pretty scary to me. That's why I'm opting to just go with the flow and remain without insurance. I finally reached the point where I'm saying, c'est la vie. I can I'm 56 and unemployed and have very little to lose.
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Old 12-30-2010, 04:53 PM
 
Location: Western NC
5,647 posts, read 5,244,363 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteelCityGirl57 View Post
Thanks for the initial replies. Hope others will post comments. Note: We have already checked on healthcare insurance. It will be just as costly as where we currently live. And we will be using BC/BS as health insurance. We currently have a very good PPO policy. We are already seeing changes in our policies since healthcare was passed last spring. Things that were for years routine and fully paid/never questioned are now no longer paid for suddenly including brand name prescriptions and standard tests. And it is fruitless waste of time to try and get BC/BS to reconsider and pay even with doctor involvement. So we are being very mindful and aware of all this and how it may impact a potential move to Asheville and living there long term.
You may want to be aware of the differences in cost in NC go by which County you live in.
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Old 01-02-2011, 01:41 PM
 
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I am somewhat surprised at the few responses thus far. Thanks again to those who posted. Does that mean that y'all haven't had any challenges in identifying doctors in the Asheville area that are still accepting new patients and/or also accepting Medicare patients?! I have it on good authority that currently in New York many doctors are no longer accepting Medicare patients. The same thing is happening in the Northern Virginia area. I have also had two acquaintances in the Asheville area recently tell me that their doctors are no longer accepting new patients in general, not just those on Medicare. There was an article in the AC-T not too long ago about the doctor shortage in WNC. So don't assume that because WNC is a retirement area that all is well in the medical community when it comes to doctor options. Only time will tell as we are in a time of much change and flux it appears when it comes to healthcare. Happy, healthy New Year to all!
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Old 01-03-2011, 09:15 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteelCityGirl57 View Post
There was an article in the AC-T not too long ago about the doctor shortage in WNC. So don't assume that because WNC is a retirement area that all is well in the medical community when it comes to doctor options.
I can't answer your question about doctor's accepting Medicare in the Asheville area.

But I am curious about that article. Did they mean there is a doctor shortage in Asheville? Or the areas that are further out?

I know the second is true, but I thought Asheville was overrun with doctors.
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Old 01-03-2011, 05:57 PM
 
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Shooting Stars: I tried to access the article. It was published in the latter half of September 2010 in the Asheville Citizen-Times but the newspaper now only provides access if a fee is paid to older articles. I also Googled it, but could not pull up the entire article for you. The article does state that the doctor shortage will occur over a period of years, up to 20 years from now. And yes, the areas outside of Asheville will have much more of a challenge than the immediate Asheville area. But it also depends on economic growth, population growth, healthcare rules, etc. So there are variables. And yes, the UNC is bringing medical education opportunities to the area which is a big plus but that all takes time to develop. I do understand that the quality of doctors can be quite good in the Asheville area. Plus all the alternative care options that abound. And I do understand that you cannot tell me about doctors accepting Medicare or accepting new patients. That is something you just have to research on your own. But I am looking for general information and any trends that may be developing just to stay informed and eliminate any surprises, if possible. Healthcare is changing. Be well!
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