One-third of Doctors Reject Medicaid

This just up at Health Affairs:

Although 96 percent of physicians accepted new patients in 2011, rates varied by payment source: 31 percent of physicians were unwilling to accept any new Medicaid patients; 17 percent would not accept new Medicare patients; and 18 percent of physicians would not accept new privately insured patients. Physicians in smaller practices and those in metropolitan areas were less likely than others to accept new Medicaid patients.

Remember: one-half of the newly insured under ObamaCare are going into Medicaid.

Comments (8)

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  1. Tom H. says:

    One more count against Obama Care.

  2. Buster says:

    Why accept Medicaid when it pays only one-third to one-half what private insurance reimburses for physician visits?

  3. Devon Herrick says:

    Historically, most individuals on Medicaid were low-income mothers and children. Depending on the state, single adults typically were not eligible for Medicaid. The number of Medicaid enrollees has been rising in recent years — and it set to increase as part of the Affordable Care Act. Many physicians considered it a charitable mission to treat a few low-income Medicaid patients. However, it remains to be seen whether or not physicians will continue this policy when the number of Medicaid enrollees skyrockets. Moreover, will physicians feel as charitable when the eligible income limits rise to include single adults earning up to 138% of poverty?

  4. Studebaker says:

    Doctors increasingly feel like the federal government is trying to solve the problem of access to medical care for the indigent on the backs of physicians. The government solution is by expanding Medicaid to 25% of the population without adequate compensation for the doctors who treat Medicaid enrollees.

  5. Aaron Cohn MD says:

    System is corrupt to its core. I think many doctors over 50 will simply retire rather than deal with it. The ridiculous reimbursement rates of medicaid are only part of the issue. We can’t even provide free care (professional courtesy) to a colleague any longer. These jokers call that “fraud”.

    I suppose some younger physicians will be trapped by student loan debt and office leases/rents. Without that, I’d feel comfortable saying the system will completely and immediately collapse. As it is, I still think it probably will anyway.

  6. Arnold Banks says:

    How is it possible that medicaid pays private doctors next to nothing yet they pay the free clinics three times as much? Those who work at the clinics also get grants to buy buildings/equipment, vacation time, free medical insurance, retirement plan and patients cannot file a lawsuit against them.

  7. Dorothy Calabrese MD says:

    Ultimately, salaried hospital and clinic physicians, nurses and other health care professionals will have to bear care responsibilities the masses of Medicaid / MediCal patients due to the underlying anti-competitive ACA impact. A solo physician practitioner model is quickly becoming untenable. outcries of physician shortages can easily be silenced as physicians who wish to immigrate from poor countries to the US will get expedited status.

    The purported carrot of financial reward driving US physician professional choices, misses the undeniable strength of real physician core values. We must diagnose and treat all patients properly. Both Medicare and MediCal are currently denying medically necessary care to orphans and outliers.

    Who spends 7 or more years after college in accredited medical school and post-graduate residency and/or fellowship training only to abandon their power to provide excellent care to patients with orphan diagnoses or outliers with unusual presentations of one or more common diseases? A fool.

    Dorothy Calabrese MS, San Clemente, CA

  8. Otis says:

    I’m surprised that physicians in metropolitan areas were less likely than others to accept new Medicaid patients.