Local Medicare patients may be left without a doctor

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PHOENIX - Despite federal health care reform, thousands of Valley patients may soon be left without coverage.    

The problem is the amount paid to doctors to treat Medicare patients. Congress failed to do anything about the Medicare payments during the health care debate.

That mean doctors' claims are on hold and existing claims are being reduced by 22 percent.

For many doctors, that means making a decision to stop treating patients on Medicare.

Dr. Beth Purdy says, “Right now if a Medicare patient calls my office and requests an appointment, they are told I’m not taking Medicare patients at this time.

Faith Clement adds, “How dare they put her in a position where they’re not going to take care of her. How dare they?

Right now if Medicare pays $100 for a service, only 72 cents is left after expenses.