Why so Long?

Why so long to get an appointment?

It's all about the reimbursement, of course. Craig, our office manager and appointment scheduler, has been cursed, yelled, at, and Dr. Elovitz threatened with malpractice suits when patients and families learn there will be a long delay for a Medicare-reimbursed appointment. We typically have a six to nine month wait. Yes, we know people are terrified of dementia, need to financially plan, are still driving, etc. but what can we do? Dr. Elovitz has had post-doctoral trainees and employees in the past, but they can't afford to stay and live on the Cape, even if we give them everything Medicare pays us. And, that ain't a sustainable business model!

There were two of us doing this work full-time on the Cape, but our friend and colleague Dr. Stan Mueller finally called it quits and retired, after 40+ years. So we do the best we can. Dr. Elovitz does most testing personally; he uses assistants to help in some cases, but than Medicare lowers its reimbursement rate even further. Believe us when we say we have struggled to find a way to shorten appointment times. Costs in Boston are just too prohibitive. If you go to a major Boston hospital you'll often be seen by a student, the appointment wait can be a year and we're finding report turnaround run in excess of three months.

But, you also should know that the problem with Medicare is that it does not have enough money because is relies on fees from workers and their companies, that politicians are reluctant to raise–for obvious reasons. Don't think it is the inefficiency of government causing this problem. It is not. More about
Medicare's Benefits here.

The next section present some hard truths for any mental health provider interested in going into the field of geropsychology, especially in the neuropsychological diagnosis of dementia.

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