A new study finds that health care access for children with Medicaid insurance is a systematic problem. People with Medicaid as their primary insurance were more likely to be refused by a medical practice or given an appointment that was close to a month away, even when they had a pressing medical issue.
Children with Medicaid-Children’s Health Insurance Program were turned down 66 percent of the time while those with private insurance were only denied 11 percent. The study, which was recently published in The New England Journal of Medicine, used secret shoppers to call 273 specialty practices to pose as parents wanting to get their child an appointment for an important health issue like seizures, asthma, broken bones, or diabetes.
The study showed that most Medicaid patients had to wait 22 days before seeing a specialist. The root of the problem seems to be money – Medicaid will pay $99.86 for an office visit while a private insurer will pay $160. Specialists in medical centers feel under pressure to go after the higher paying insurance method, the researchers said. The study titled “Auditing Access to Specialty Care for Children with Public Insurance” was conducted in Cook County, Illinois over five months.
In a recent New York Times article, doctors from across the nation echoed the study’s findings. As states are cutting Medicaid programs and doctors are pushed to bring in more money, children with Medicaid are seen as one of the last priorities. “It’s very disturbing,” said Dr. Karin Rhodes, who co-authored the study. “As a mother, if I had a kid who was having seizures or newly diagnosed juvenile diabetes, I would want to get them in right away.”
In New York, the law firm of Littman Krooks LLP firmly believes that children with Medicaid deserve equal access to health care and quality treatment. Our New York special needs attorneys have decades of experience in courtrooms and settlements to uphold your child’s rights. To learn more, visit http://www.specialneedsnewyork.com/