Medicaid Patients’ Access to Physicians Has Dropped Almost One Fifth in Five Years

According to a Merritt Hawkins’ 2014 survey of the proportion of physicians in five specialties (cardiology, dermatology, orthopedic surgery, ob/gyn, and family practice) accepting Medicaid patients dropped from 55.4 percent in 2009 to 45.7 percent — a drop of almost one fifth.

This decline under the Obama administration contrasts with some improvement in Medicaid patients’ access during the second term of the Bush administration: Merritt Hawkins’ 2004 survey reported that 49.8 percent of physicians accepted Medicaid patients.

Merritt Hawkins also asked physicians if they were willing to accept Medicare patients: Only 76 percent said yes. In Minneapolis, only 38.2 percent of physicians were willing to accept Medicare patients! (Unfortunately, the survey did not ask physicians if they accept private insurance.)

As in 2009, Boston had the longest waiting times to see specialists at 1 ½ months.

The table below shows the waiting times for physicians in ten cities surveyed in both 2014 and 2009:

456

Comments (15)

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  1. John Fembup says:

    Medicaid patients – - the administration is doing this for YOU.

    And for your children, of course.

  2. Trent says:

    So less access to doctors for Americans who have medicaid is a good thing?

  3. Wally says:

    The ACA in fact created less access to Doctors. How convenient.

  4. Octavian says:

    “In Minneapolis, only 38.2 percent of physicians were willing to accept Medicare patients! (Unfortunately, the survey did not ask physicians if they accept private insurance.)”
    That may cause sampling bias..

  5. Chamberlain says:

    We definitely need more qualified doctors, much more urgent than the need of engineers.