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Report: Privately insured patients more likely to get appointments than Medicaid patients

June 05, 2019 - 4:00 am
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KYW Newsradio’s Medical Reports are sponsored by Independence Blue Cross. 

By Dr. Brian McDonough, Medical Editor

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — The Journal of the American Medical Association often contains articles that look at the finances of medicine. Perhaps one of their most concerning reports is that privately insured patients are more than 25 percent more likely to get a primary care appointment than patients on Medicaid. 

In the study, the researchers had trained callers posing as privately insured, publicly insured and uninsured patients make nearly 13,000 phone calls to nearly 8,000 primary care practices in 10 states. 

There was another issue that was of concern: uninsured patients who could afford to pay only $75 or less had a less than 16% chance of getting a new patient primary care appointment. 

As health care turns to consumers paying more and more into their own care in the form of deductibles, and as appointments are made in a digital platform, there is concern that physician offices and urgent care centers may be looking even closer at dollars and cents.