Why this physician is worried about Medicare Advantage 

A growing number of hospitals, health systems and ASCs are dropping Medicare Advantage contracts for prior authorization denials and slow payments, among other reasons. 

Patrick McEneaney, DPM, owner and CEO of Crystal Lake-based Northern Illinois Foot & Ankle Specialists, joined Becker's to discuss why he is worried about Medicare Advantage in 2024. 

Editor's note: This response was edited lightly for clarity and length. 

Dr. Patrick McEneaney: The healthcare trend that I'm most worried about in 2024 is the increasing number of patients who are signing up for Medicare Advantage Plans. I have found that my most vulnerable patients are picking up these plans. These are patients who have multiple comorbidities, are at high risk for exacerbations of their medical conditions and/or those who have insecurities with their socioeconomic situations.


These plans are touted by brokers promising extended benefits and significant cost savings. However, the savings are often only on the front end of the program at the time they sign up. Many patients don't realize that these plans may have copays, coinsurance and deductibles, which often cost the patients more in the long run. I see patients skipping visits, treatments or diagnostic testing in fear of the costs associated with these plans, which leads to poorer outcomes. The aggressive advertisements and monetization of these patients' lives to brokers' commissions have led to a significant amount of misunderstanding from patients. 

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