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Access to Primary Care Better for Medicaid Patients in Private Plans

Medicaid beneficiaries enrolled in commercial, marketplace health plans have better access to appointments for primary care services than those enrolled in traditional state Medicaid programs.

Or so concludes a study conducted by the Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics.

iStock_000008112453XSmallAccording to surveys conducted by “secret shoppers,” appointment rates with primary care providers for callers with plans to which they were assigned on the federal insurance marketplace were 27.7 percentage points higher than when they called providers enrolled in their state Medicaid program in Arkansas and 12 percentage points higher in Iowa. There was no different in waiting times for appointments.

The study did not address quality of care. It has been suggested that the superior access for Medicaid patients enrolled in can be attributed to better reimbursement, fewer administrative burdens, and a perception that private patients may be more likely to comply with medical instructions.

Learn more about the study and its possible implications as some states still consider whether to expand their Medicaid programs in the article “Primary Care Appointment Availability for Medicaid Patients: Comparing Traditional and Premium Assistance Plans,” which can be found here.

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