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Medicare website is helpful to seniors

When a person is dropped by a physician, how do they go about finding a new one who will accept Medicare? Is there a website or phone number that will show available doctors? My health is excellent. I just want a physical.

— Lynn S., Medford

Far be it from us to judge why you'd need a doctor, Lynn. The Health Care Quandaries Department of Since You Asked is just adjacent to Baked Goods today, and somehow it seems a little disingenuous of us to answer a health care question while eating pie. Let's all live in a neighborhood of glass houses.

But we digress.

The short answer to your question is yes, there is indeed a place on the Web where you can find doctors who accept Medicare. Thanks to a helpful representative at Jackson County Health and Human Services, we were pointed to a page on Medicare's official U.S. government site: www.medicare.gov/physician.

The page allows seekers to search by city or ZIP code, select physicians with specialties from allergists to urologists, other health care professionals from anesthesiology assistants to speech therapists, plus group practices.

The site lets seekers refine their search to find health care providers who accept the Medicare-approved amount as payment in full, and they can search by name or by the medical professional's gender.

If computers aren't quite your style, Medicare has a toll-free number, 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227). You should have your Medicare number handy before you call.