Show docs the money

Low reimbursement rates lead one in three doctors to refuse new Medicaid patients

Nearly one in three doctors refused new Medicaid patients last year due to the program’s low reimbursement rates, a report finds.

The report, compiled for the National Center for Health Statistics at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, polled 4,326 American doctors on whether they would accept patients under the federal health program, according to the Wall Street Journal. Thirty-one percent reported they would not accept new Medicaid patients, while 18 percent said they wouldn’t accept new patients with private insurance and 17 percent said they wouldn’t accept new Medicare patients. Additionally, physicians running smaller practices or operating in metropolitan areas were less likely to accept Medicaid patients.

In rural states like Alaska and Wyoming—where Medicaid reimbursement rates are 50 percent higher than those of Medicare—most physicians said they would accept new patients.