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Debates Forum

  1. Standard member wittywonka
    Chocolate Expert
    16 Jun '11 17:07
    http://yourlife.usatoday.com/health/healthcare/story/2011/06/Study-shows-Medicaid-kids-are-denied-medical-care---/48488756/1

    Children on public insurance are being denied treatment by doctors at much higher
    rates than those with private coverage, according to an undercover study that had
    researchers pose as parents of sick kids seeking an appointment with a specialist.

    Snubbed even by specialists whose offices supposedly accept public insurance
    patients, these kids also had to wait much longer to see a doctor. Low Medicaid
    reimbursements are the likely reason, the study authors said.

    The study was done in Cook County, Ill., the nation's second-most populous
    county which includes Chicago, but the researchers and others say the results
    likely reflect practices around the country.

    "People should be very concerned," said Dr. Karin Rhodes, the lead author and an
    emergency medicine specialist at the University of Pennsylvania.

    The study results suggest many of the 40 million publicly insured U.S. children are
    not getting recommended timely treatment for dangerous conditions including
    asthma, diabetes and depression, she said.

    "I work in an emergency room ... where you see the long-term consequences of
    people who did not get the care they needed," Rhodes said.

    The study appears in Thursday's New England Journal of Medicine.

    The study is "simple and elegant" and bolsters previous research while presenting
    a more accurate real-world picture of disparities facing public aid patients, said Dr.
    Steve Wegner, former head of the American Academy of Pediatrics' child health
    financing committee.

    To test whether type of insurance influences doctors' willingness to schedule
    appointments, the researchers posed as parents of fictitious sick children referred
    to specialists by primary-care doctors or emergency room physicians. Seven
    scenarios were created, including a 9-month-old with a severe skin rash, a 7-year
    old with diabetes, a 12-year-old with a suspected broken arm and a 13-year-old
    with symptoms of severe depression.

    The researchers phoned 273 specialty clinics twice, a month apart, seeking an
    appointment with doctors including dermatologists, allergists, psychiatrists and
    bone specialists. In one call, the children were said to have private insurance; in
    the other, they were insured through Illinois' Medicaid program.

    Overall, specialists refused to grant appointments for 66% of the Medicaid
    children, versus only 11% of privately insured youngsters.

    Among 89 clinics that accepted both insurance types, Medicaid children had to wait
    an average of 42 days for an appointment, versus 20 days for private coverage.

    ...

    _____

    Now, remind me, how exactly would splitting up Medicaid funding into state-by-
    state block grants help this situation?
  2. 16 Jun '11 17:35
    Originally posted by wittywonka
    http://yourlife.usatoday.com/health/healthcare/story/2011/06/Study-shows-Medicaid-kids-are-denied-medical-care---/48488756/1

    Children on public insurance are being denied treatment by doctors at much higher
    rates than those with private coverage, according to an undercover study that had
    researchers pose as parents of sick kids seeking an appointment ...[text shortened]... splitting up Medicaid funding into state-by-
    state block grants help this situation?
    Wouldn't you expect doctors to want to see patients that are willing to pay them?
  3. Standard member sh76
    Civis Americanus Sum
    16 Jun '11 17:37
    Originally posted by wittywonka
    http://yourlife.usatoday.com/health/healthcare/story/2011/06/Study-shows-Medicaid-kids-are-denied-medical-care---/48488756/1

    Children on public insurance are being denied treatment by doctors at much higher
    rates than those with private coverage, according to an undercover study that had
    researchers pose as parents of sick kids seeking an appointment ...[text shortened]... splitting up Medicaid funding into state-by-
    state block grants help this situation?
    That's because Medicaid doesn't pay the doctors as much as private pay patients and is bogs the doctors down in red tape. I don't blame the doctors at all.
  4. Standard member wittywonka
    Chocolate Expert
    17 Jun '11 00:47
    I don't (necessarily) blame doctors for wanting more compensation, but at the same time, I don't understand how shifting the responsibility for Medicaid reimbursement to individual states--including those seriously strapped for money--is supposed to increase incentives for doctors to see Medicaid patients. I've heard only praise from Republicans for Ryan's plan with regards to its Medicaid reforms, but I don't see how said reforms will improve the system in the first place.
  5. 17 Jun '11 13:53
    Originally posted by wittywonka
    I don't (necessarily) blame doctors for wanting more compensation, but at the same time, I don't understand how shifting the responsibility for Medicaid reimbursement to individual states--including those seriously strapped for money--is supposed to increase incentives for doctors to see Medicaid patients. I've heard only praise from Republicans f ...[text shortened]... icaid reforms, but I don't see how said reforms will improve the system in the first place.
    Like much of the health care debate it really comes down to who pays for healthcare. I imagine that states will not give sufficient incentive for doctors to see Medicaid patients. It may not be the solution that people who want universal health care are looking for but it certainly is a plan that gives states the opportunity to pick the level of helath care that they wish to provide.