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Medicaid Patients Less Likely To Get Primary Care Appointment

By Dr. Brian McDonough, Medical Editor

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - A recent report in the Journal of the American Medical Association Internal Medicine Edition was concerning. In the report, it was found that privately insured patients are more than 25% more likely to get a primary care appointment than patients on Medicaid.

The study was very interesting: the researchers had trained callers posing as privately, publicly insured and uninsured patients to make nearly 13,000 phone calls to nearly 8,000 primary care practices in 10 states.

There was another issue that was of concern: uninsured patients who could afford to pay only $75 or less had a less than 16% chance of getting a new patient primary care appointment.

The Affordable Care Act is not expected to help in this case because most of the plans for those who are the poorest have extremely high deductibles and patients will need to pay cash for primary care visits.

In an ideal setting, primary care visits would be covered and patients could get access to preventive care more easily.

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