Better access to doctors in Michigan

March 30, 2013 at 1:30 AM
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ANN ARBOR, Mich., March 30 (UPI) -- More than 90 percent of Michigan Medicaid recipients said they had easier access to primary and specialty care appointments in 2012, researchers say.

Marianne Udow-Phillips, director of the Center for Healthcare Research & Transformation and the University of Michigan School of Public Health, and colleagues surveyed 1,018 Michigan adults -- both insured and uninsured. Both groups responded they had an easier time getting primary care in 2012 compared to 2010.

Ninety-one percent of Medicaid recipients reported having an easier time scheduling primary care appointments in 2012 compared to 74 percent 2010.

In 2010, 56 percent of the uninsured had a primary care provider compared to 87 percent in 2012, and were more likely than the insured to seek medical treatment in emergency rooms and urgent care centers.

"The survey showed most primary care providers anticipated the ability to take new Medicaid patients starting in 2014," Udow-Phillips said in a statement. "Our survey provides additional good news about physician capacity to serve an expanded Medicaid population in Michigan. Current Medicaid recipients are already reporting an easier time accessing care than they did previously."

In 2010, 50 percent of those with Medicaid coverage reported ease in scheduling specialty care appointments, but in 2012 the number rose to 83 percent.

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