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Many physicians taking no new Medicaid patients

Physician Practice Advisor, August 23, 2006

The proportion of physicians accepting Medicaid patients has decreased slightly over the past decade, despite increases in Medicaid payment rates and enrollment over that time period, according to a study by the Center for Studying Health System Change (HSC).

In 2004-2005, roughly one-fifth (21%) of physicians reported accepting no new Medicaid patients, up from 19.5% in 1995-1996. Researchers found that treatment of Medicaid patients is becoming concentrated in large groups, hospitals, and community health centers as solo practitioners and small practices increasingly do not accept new Medicaid patients.

Other significant findings include the following:

  • 84% of physicians accepting no new Medicaid patients cited inadequate reimbursement as a factor
  • 70% of physicians accepting no new Medicaid patients said billing requirements and paperwork were also a factor
  • 14.6% of physicians in 2004-2005 reported receiving no Medicaid revenue, compared to 12.9% in 1995-1996
  • General internists and family practitioners were the most likely to report that their practices are closed to new Medicaid patients, while pediatricians and specialists were the least likely to have practices closed to Medicaid patients

Click here to access the HSC report.