October 6, 2016
Finding a suitable doctor who accepts Medicare assignment and fits your needs may be one of the challenges you’ll face once you enroll in Medicare. Fortunately, Medicare.gov offers an online supplier directory named Physician Compare that’s easy to use and helps you find doctors and other providers who accept Medicare assignment.
Once you access Medicare’s online supplier directory, you’ll have three main search options, described below.
Find physicians and other health-care professionals
Use this tab to find a doctor or other provider. You start by entering your location (such as city and state). Then, you can search based on any of the following:
- Medical specialty. For example, to find a cardiologist in your area, you can enter “cardiologist” or “cardiology” and click Search.
- Medical condition. For example, to find a diabetes specialist, you can enter “diabetes” or “diabetic” and click Search.
- Organ or organ system. For example, to find a heart specialist, enter “heart” and click Search.
- Last name of a specific physician or health provider. For example, to find a doctor whose last name is Jones, enter “Jones” and click Search.
The Physician Compare page displays a list of doctors, and the distance of each doctor from your stated location. The list clearly indicates which doctors accept Medicare assignment (the Medicare-approved payment amount) and which doctors may not – a symbol with a green M appears next to the name of those physicians and health care providers who do. A symbol with a red question mark appears beside the names of doctors who might or might not accept Medicare assignment. You can save money by going to a doctor who accepts Medicare assignment because doctors who accept Medicare assignment agree to accept the Medicare allowed amount for covered services, and you will not be billed more than the deductible and coinsurance amount applicable to your Medicare coverage. If the red question mark appears beside a doctor, you may call the doctor’s office and ask if she or he accepts Medicare assignment.
Find group practices
Use this tab to find a group practice; for example, suppose you want to find a practice that specializes in sports medicine. You start by entering your location (such as city and state). Then, you can search as described above (in Find physicians and other health-care professionals), except that instead of searching for a doctor’s name, you can search for a practice name. As with the Find Physicians tab, the page displays a list of doctors.
A group practice, as opposed to a single physician, includes two or more physicians or health providers offering same- or multi-specialty managed care services.
Search another way
If you’re unable to identify your ailment or if you’re not looking for a particular physician or group practice, Medicare.gov can help you find a Medicare provider who can help you.
- Click the Search Another Way tab.
- Click Male, Female, or Child. (Please note that most children are not covered by Medicare. There are some exceptions; for example, if your child has End-Stage Renal Disease, she or he can qualify for Medicare.)
- Select the option in the Select a Body Part list that needs to be examined or treated; for example, feet.
- Select the option in the Select One list that’s closest to your condition (for example, arthritis).
- Select the option in the Select a Specialty list that’s closest to your needs (for example, rheumatology).
- Enter your location (such as city and state) in the Enter a Location field.
- Click Search.
- As with the Find Physicians tab, the page displays a list of doctors and indicates which ones accept Medicare assignment.
You can also call Medicare and ask for help finding doctors in your area. Call them at 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227; TTY users call 1-877-486-2048) 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Although Physician Compare is updated often, information can change. It is advisable to contact health care professionals to find out if they accept Medicare assignment, if they’re accepting new Medicare patients, and to check the address before making an appointment.