According to a new report from the inspector general of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), large numbers of doctors who are listed as serving Medicaid patients are not available to treat them. Investigators found that half of the providers could not offer appointments or were not accepting new Medicaid patients. Additionally, some doctors could not be found at their last known addresses. Medicaid enrollment is up by nine million people, or 16 percent, in the past year and most of the new beneficiaries are enrolled in private health plans that use a network of doctors that manage their care.
HHS investigators found that more than one third of providers could not be found at the location listed by a Medicaid managed-care plan. Approximately 8 percent of providers at the locations listed said they did not participate in Medicaid; another 8 percent said they did participate in the program but were not accepting new patients. Also, many of those providers accepting Medicaid patients had significant wait times.
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