Trouble finding a doctor who accepts Medicaid? New Jersey came in dead last after a review of the 2011 National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey ranked the state with the lowest rate of doctors who would treat new Medicaid patients. While 99 percent of doctors in Wyoming, the state with the top spot, reported they would accept new patients on Medicaid, only 40 percent of N.J. doctors said they would do the same, according to the study.
Sandra Decker, the economist with the Center for Disease Controls who performed the research, discovered troubling figures while combing the survey results. On a national scale, more than three in ten doctors, or 31 percent of those polled, would not accept new Medicaid patients, according to the Washington Post.
The general consensus against accepting Medicaid was poor reimbursement compared to what a doctor typically receives for treating patients on Medicare or with private insurance.
Philly.com reports that this will become an “important issue in 2014, when under the federal health law, the number of Medicaid patients — now 60 million — may increase by as many as 16 million, including about 200,000 more people in New Jersey.”
While the Supreme Court ruling deemed the Medicaid expansion an optional statute for states, Gov. Chris Christie is leaning against it.
According to Philly.com, Robert Maro Jr., a Cherry Hill internist, said “he treats Medicaid patients in the hospital and in nursing homes, but would lose money treating them in the office, where his administrative costs are higher.”
Maro also expressed concern taking on new Medicaid patients that the reimbursement levels would be reduced after 2014, “and then he would be required legally and ethically to keep treating them.”