How Do I Find a Doctor Who Accepts Medicare?

1 answer | Last updated: Sep 14, 2017
A fellow caregiver asked...

Where can I find a doctor who accepts Medicare?

Expert Answers

The Medicare website has a service called the Physician and Other Healthcare Professional Directory. Click on it and you can find doctors near you, listed by specialty, who accept Medicare patients. Or you can get the same information by calling Medicare toll-free at (800) MEDICARE ([800] 633-4227), 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Bear in mind, though, that getting Medicare-listed names of doctors near you who accept Medicare patients doesn't guarantee that a particular doctor will accept you as a patient. Many doctors limit the number of Medicare patients they will accept. Many other doctors simply have a full patient roster and do not accept any new patients. The fact that a doctor accepts Medicare, and is listed on the Medicare website, doesn't mean he or she is required to accept you as a patient.

If you are seeking care from a specialist physician who is not intended to be your primary care physician, there may be other restrictions, too. Most specialists will only see a new patient if the patient is referred to the specialist from a primary care physician. Similarly, Medicare might not cover a visit to a specialist unless the visit is the result of a referral from a primary care physician. Because of these restrictions, if you have just moved to a new area and are seeking care from a specialist physician, you might first need to find a new primary care physician -- which the Medicare referral service can also help with.