Newly Insured Medicaid Patients Not Facing Long Waiting Times For Primary Care Appointments

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Renuka Tipirneni, MD, MSc Clinical Lecturer in Internal Medicine University of Michigan Department of Internal Medicine, Division of General Medicine North Campus Research Complex, Bldg 16, Rm 472C Ann Arbor, MI

Dr. Renuka Tipirneni

Renuka Tipirneni, MD, MSc
Clinical Lecturer in Internal Medicine
University of Michigan Department of Internal Medicine, Division of General Medicine
North Campus Research Complex, Bldg 16, Rm 472C
Ann Arbor, MI

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Dr. Tipirneni: One year after Medicaid expansion in Michigan, 600,000 individuals had enrolled in the program and there was concern that new enrollees would crowd doctor’s offices and new patients would not be able to get an appointment. We found that the opposite occurred – primary care appointment availability for new Medicaid patients increased.

This study builds on a previous study looking at what happened in the first four months after Medicaid expansion. In the earlier study, we found that appointment availability for new Medicaid patients had increased in the first few months after expansion. Even though the number of enrollees in the Medicaid expansion program doubled since then, the new study found that appointment availability remained increased for new Medicaid patients one year after expansion.


MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?
Dr. Tipirneni:

• Appointment availability for new Medicaid patients remained increased at one year after Medicaid expansion in Michigan.
• An increasing number of appointments were scheduled with nonphysician providers, such as nurse practitioners or physician assistants, which may help explain the unexpected increase in appointment access.
• Despite the large number of newly insured individuals, new patient wait times were still within 2 weeks at one year after Medicaid expansion, and were similar for Medicaid and privately insured patien

MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Dr. Tipirneni: Future research should more closely examine the evolving role of nonphysician providers and team-based care in helping to improve access to care for the newly insured.

MedicalResearch.com: Is there anything else you would like to add?

Dr. Tipirneni: Appointment availability for new Medicaid patients increased, even after the Affordable Care Act-associated rate bump in Medicaid reimbursement to primary care providers expired in 2015.

MedicalResearch.com: Thank you for your contribution to the MedicalResearch.com community.

Citation:
Renuka Tipirneni, MD, MSc; Karin V. Rhodes, MD, MS; Rodney A. Hayward, MD; Richard L. Lichtenstein, PhD; HwaJung Choi, PhD; Elyse N. Reamer, BS; and Matthew M. Davis, MD, MAPP. Primary Care Appointment Availability and Nonphysician Providers One Year After Medicaid Expansion American Journal of Managed Care, Vol. 22, No. 6

Note: Content is Not intended as medical advice. Please consult your health care provider regarding your specific medical condition and questions.

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