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Health Aff (Millwood). 2013 Sep;32(9):1560-7. doi: 10.1377/hlthaff.2012.1010.

Physicians may need more than higher reimbursements to expand Medicaid participation: findings from Washington State.


The expansion of insurance coverage under the Affordable Care Act is expected to put considerable pressure on the capacity of the primary care workforce to meet the needs of the Medicaid population beginning in 2014. The results from a 2011 survey and focus-group sessions with Washington State primary care physicians suggest that doctors welcome planned increases in Medicaid reimbursement rates. However, the data also show that other approaches could be even more effective in increasing physicians' willingness to see Medicaid patients. Those approaches include lowering the costs of participating in Medicaid by simplifying administrative processes, speeding up reimbursement, and reducing the costs associated with caring for those patients. In focus groups, physicians were cautiously optimistic about the potential of the Affordable Care Act to make a difference in each of these areas, with electronic health records, medical homes, and accountable care organizations all seen as promising developments.


Health Reform; Medicaid; Physician Payment; Primary Care; State And Local Issues

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