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Study: Most new Medicaid patients get timely appointments with primary-care providers

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More than 14 million adults have enrolled in Medicaid since the Affordable Care Act was enacted, in 2010. That has worried many experts concerned about  whether there would be enough primary-care providers to meet the new demand. But a study in JAMA Internal Medicine suggests that these newly insured people usually can get timely appointments for primary care.

A major reason, apparently, is that the Affordable Care Act provided  new incentives to primary-care physicians to get them to treat patients coming as a result of the Medicaid expansion under the ACA.

The authors noted:

“Millions of uninsured adults in the United States have gained health insurance under the Affordable Care Act since major coverage provisions of the act were implemented in 2014, including federal funding for an extension of Medicaid eligibility to nonelderly and low-income adults in some states. Anticipating heightened demand, policymakers launched concurrent initiatives to strengthen primary care delivery, such as raising Medicaid reimbursement to Medicare levels for certain primary care providers in 2013 and 2014, increasing funds for federally qualified health centers and expanding the penetration of Medicaid managed care.

It is unclear what the impact of Republicans plans to repeal and replace the ACA might have on this. We’ll probably have a better idea within a few days.

To read the JAMA study, please hit this link.

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