Where The Needs Of Others Come First · Available 24x7 For Emergencies
Mon, May 9 2011
By Ros Krasny
BOSTON (Reuters) – Almost everyone in Massachusetts has health insurance under a state mandate, but many doctors do not accept the subsidized insurance programs available to low-income residents, a new study shows.
Residents in some areas also face long waits in getting doctors’ appointments, or find that overstretched primary care practices are not taking on new patients. Many primary care doctors do not accept MassHealth, the state’s version of Medicaid, and even less accept Commonwealth Care and Commonwealth Choice, programs for low- and moderate-income residents.
More than half of primary care practices are not taking new patients, especially patients for whose treatment they will be paid at a much lower level than for those carrying private health insurance. New patient wait times in Massachusetts jumped between 2006 and 2007 after the initial implementation of the state health care reform law, and have remained high. As a result, the rate of emergency room visits to receive care has also stayed high.
The complete report, “2011 Patient Access to Health Care Survey” can be viewed on the Massachusetts Medical Society website.