Jackson Healthcare Survey Shows More Doctors Can’t Afford to Take Medicaid, Medicare

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Majority of Some Specialists Unable to Take New Patients

Thirty-six percent of physicians said they are no longer accepting new Medicaid patients.

While at least 13 million Americans may soon join the Medicaid rolls, a majority of physicians in many specialties say they can no longer afford to accept new Medicaid patients due to declining reimbursements, according to a new national survey of physicians by Jackson Healthcare.

According to the survey, 36 percent of physicians said they are no longer accepting new Medicaid patients. Currently, 26 percent of doctors don’t see Medicaid patients.

However, 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 can’t take on more Medicaid patients.

Other specialties also report an inclination to limit the number of Medicaid patients they can treat because of the low reimbursement: orthopedic surgeons (50 percent), family practitioners (45 percent), gastroenterologists (47 percent), neurologists (43 percent), cardiologists (39 percent) and urologists (35 percent).

Under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, many of the uninsured are to gain health insurance coverage through Medicaid beginning in 2014. An estimated 13 million or more are expected to sign up for Medicaid the first year and the number is expected to grow as high as 26 million by 2020. The law’s constitutionality is currently being decided by the U.S. Supreme Court.

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

Meanwhile, the same trends are emerging for baby boomers and the elderly who are insured by Medicare, according to the Jackson survey. In the national survey, 17 percent of physicians said they could no longer afford to see new Medicare patients. Currently, 10 percent of doctors report they do not see Medicare patients at all.

Doctors reporting they can no longer take new Medicare patients include 43 percent of adult psychiatrists, 27 percent of internists and generalists, 25 percent of family practitioners and 24 percent of ob-gyns.

“Where will all these seniors go when doctors can’t afford to see them?” Jackson said.

The physicians’ survey found the states where doctors were least likely to accept new Medicaid patients were New Jersey and California. Among the states where doctors said they were least likely to see new Medicare patients included Vermont, Mississippi, Texas and California.

Jackson Healthcare's research on physician capacity for Medicare and Medicaid patients is based upon survey invitations emailed to physicians nationwide and completed online. The survey was completed by 2,232 physicians across all specialties. It was conducted between April 19 and April 26, 2012, and had a margin of error of + or - 2.1 percent at a 95 percent confidence level.

To see the survey and its impact on physicians go to http://jacksonhealthcare.com/media-room/surveys/physician-practice-trends-survey-2012.aspx.

CONTACT
For more information on contact Susan Meyers at slmeyers(at)comcast(dot)net or (404) 518-2271.

ABOUT JACKSON HEALTHCARE
Jackson Healthcare is the fourth largest healthcare staffing company in the U.S. and serves more than 4 million patients in over 1,300 hospitals. The company also provides technology solutions that enable total hospital efficiency.    

Jackson Healthcare has earned national media coverage by providing innovative solutions to healthcare problems, in addition to championing local, national and international charitable work. It has been recognized as one of the Best Places to Work by the Atlanta Business Chronicle for five consecutive years.    

Visit http://www.JacksonHealthcare.com to learn more.

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