Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Children on Medicaid Shown to Wait Longer for Care

Children with Medicaid are far more likely than those with private insurance to be turned away by medical specialists or be made to wait more than a month for an appointment, even for serious medical problems, a new study finds.

Lower payments by Medicaid, delays in paying and red tape are largely to blame, researchers say.

The study, with findings that match anecdotal reports from other parts of the country, is one of only a few efforts to measure access to health care among people with Medicaid. Nationwide, those patients are caught between states’ threats to cut Medicaid payments and the Obama administration’s plans to use the program to cover more and more people as part of its health care law.