Physicians Not Likely to Increase Hours in Response to Coverage Expansion
March 29—With Medicaid expansion looming, many health industry experts question the potential impact on patient access to physicians, particularly in relation to primary care. If the experience of the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) is any indication, don’t expect physicians to take on longer days to manage an influx of newly insured, say researchers with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services in an article in the Medicare & Medicaid Research Review.
Beginning in 1997, CHIP expanded eligibility for public coverage to large numbers of children, with expansion varying widely from state to state. Researchers found that pediatricians working in large-expansion states did not work longer hours and, in fact, reduced their work hours compared with other pediatricians.
The researchers suspect certain supply-side features of CHIP may be behind this relationship, such as lower provider fees and greater use of managed care.
Publication Date: Friday, March 29, 2013