Thoughts and opinions on this story? Click here to comment >>

Get stories like this in a free daily email

September 1, 2012
Jeff Barnard photo

In this June 19, 2012 photo, Dr. Bruce Stowell examines patient Robert Busch at his office in Grants Pass, Ore. Stowell is among many doctors in rural areas who have capped the numbers of Medicare patients they take due to low reimbursement levels. A nationwide shortage of primary care physicians willing to set up practice in rural areas is making the problem worse.

Jeff Barnard photo

In this June 19, 2012 photo, Dr. Bruce Stowell examines patient Robert Busch at his office in Grants Pass, Ore. Stowell is among many doctors in rural areas who have capped the numbers of Medicare patients they take due to low reimbursement levels. A nationwide shortage of primary care physicians willing to set up practice in rural areas is making the problem worse.

Jeff Barnard photo

In this June 19, 2012 photo, Dr. Bruce Stowell shakes hands with patient Robert Busch at his office in Grants Pass, Ore. Stowell is among many doctors in rural areas who have capped the numbers of Medicare patients they take due to low reimbursement levels. A nationwide shortage of primary care physicians willing to set up practice in rural areas is making the problem worse.

Jeff Barnard photo

Nina Musselman sits on her deck in Grants Pass, Ore., on Friday, Aug. 31, 2012. When she first moved to this small town nine years ago, she had no trouble finding a family doctor who would take Medicare. But when that doctor left town, she had a hard time finding one that would stick. Baby boomers retiring to rural areas are likely to have a hard time finding primary care doctors who take Medicare. Experts say rural areas have a shortage of primary care doctors in general, and diminishing payments from Medicare are making some limit the patients they will take.

Jeff Barnard photo

Nina Musselman sits on her deck in Grants Pass, Ore., on Friday, Aug. 31, 2012. When she first moved to this small town nine years ago, she had no trouble finding a family doctor who would take Medicare. But when that doctor left town, she had a hard time finding one that would stick. Baby boomers retiring to rural areas are likely to have a hard time finding primary care doctors who take Medicare. Experts say rural areas have a shortage of primary care doctors in general, and diminishing payments from Medicare are making some limit the patients they will take.

Jeff Barnard photo

Nina Musselman sits on her deck in Grants Pass, Ore., on Friday, Aug. 31, 2012. When she first moved to this small town nine years ago, she had no trouble finding a family doctor who would take Medicare. But when that doctor left town, she had a hard time finding one that would stick. Baby boomers retiring to rural areas are likely to have a hard time finding primary care doctors who take Medicare. Experts say rural areas have a shortage of primary care doctors in general, and diminishing payments from Medicare are making some limit the patients they will take.