Survey: More doctors report they cannot afford to take new Medicaid, Medicare patients

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Thirty-six percent of doctors say they are no longer accepting new Medicaid patients due in large part to declining reimbursements, a new national survey has found.

The survey of 2,232 physicians across all specialties conducted in late April by Jackson Healthcare in Atlanta — the fourth-largest health care staffing company in the U.S. — further found that broken down for specialty, 66 percent of dermatologists, 64 percent of endocrinologists, 58 percent of internists, 57 percent of physical medicine and rehabilitation doctors and 53 of adult psychiatrists said they are no longer able to take on more Medicaid patients.

Other specialties in the survey with a high percentage of doctors who reported stopping accepting Medicaid patients include orthopedic surgeons (50 percent), family practitioners (45 percent), gastroenterologists (47 percent), neurologists (43 percent), cardiologists (39 percent) and urologists (35 percent).

Currently 26 percent of physicians see no Medicaid patients at all, the survey reported.

According to the Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured, under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (the constitutionality of which is currently under consideration at the Supreme Court), Medicaid enrollment could increase by 22.8 million by 2019.

According to Richard L. Jackson, chairman and CEO of Jackson Healthcare, the low reimbursement rate paired with the large influx of new Medicaid patients will be a problem.

“This is creating the perfect storm that will make it very difficult for the poor and elderly to access a doctor,” Jackson said. “Physicians say they just can’t afford to be part of a system that generates so many patients for so little compensation.”

The survey further noted that 17 percent of physicians said they could no longer afford to see new Medicare patients and 10 percent reported not seeing Medicare patients at all.

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