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Reply #4: Too big a group to say anything interesting about. [View All]

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Igel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-15-10 01:54 PM
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4. Too big a group to say anything interesting about.
The doctor's I and my family have gone to recently aren't hurting for patients.

The pediatrician's office doesn't turn away Medicaid kids. They're perpetually packed, pushing the limits of their infrastructure. The place needs an overhaul, it's really looking worn and some of their equipment works intermittently.

The ENT office also isn't hurting for patients, but it's a fairly prestigious assemblage of doctors. They stopped taking new Medicaid patients before it was fashionable to do so. They also posted signs against the HCRA, asking patients to call their reps and pressure them to vote against it. Their equipment is fully functional, fairly new, and they're nowhere near pushing the limits of their infrastructure.

Our GPs are in new digs, and Medicaid patients are accepted on an ad hoc basis: If they're moving "in house" (it's part of a med-school related network of practices and providers) they do, if a Medicaid patient is calling just because they found the number online or in the phone book, no.

My endocrinologist doesn't turn away Medicaid patients. Then again, she runs herself ragged to keep the income up and as a result gives inferior care. At least to men. Her research and professional interests are women's reproductive problems, not thyroid disease.

My opthalmalogist's office was very nice and ritzy. Great equipment. Great attention. Long sessions. They have sharply restricted Medicaid enrollments.

So: Yes, no, or perhaps maybe. Those who take Medicaid patients are running themselves ragged--but that's not an answer, that's a correlation. These two traits may each independently reflect a desire to help as many people as possible; a desire to run themselves ragged with Medicaid patients needed to accomplish this; or, they may need to see more Medicaid patients than they're comfortable with in order to keep up the practice's revenue stream. Those who don't take Medicaid patients are in great shape, though, and while not lacking for patients could accommodate more.

Yeah, though: Some require picture ID, especially the Medicaid-limiting specialist practices seeing a patient whose a minor. Not because of private insurance or Medicare, but because (I was told by two different desk staff) of poor parents with non-citizen kids who are ineligible for Medicaid or poverty-stricken kids who are covered by Medicaid but who couldn't find a doctor that would take them.
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