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WA clinics tapping Medicare market

The Spokesman-Review, April 10, 2012

There has been a strong push to retain and recruit more doctors who practice family or internal medicine throughout Eastern Washington, where physician shortages are especially worrisome for rural communities with aging populations. Settling on the right payer mix to keep a clinic financially viable is a balancing act. Medicare often accounts for about 1 in 4 patients at a typical primary care clinic. It's stayed at that relatively low level because the federal government program reimburses clinics at levels below that of private pay patients.