by Jason P. Smith
The Children’s Hospital recently released the results of a comprehensive report that documents a decreasing capacity of private primary- care physicians to care for children enrolled in Medicaid.
According to the report, concerns about eligibility, administrative and reimbursement policies have contributed to limited access to needed care and have had a negative impact on the health status of Colorado’s children, resulting in a significantly higher rate of vaccine-preventable diseases in Colorado.
The results of the report document a significant decrease during the past three years of pediatricians who accept all Medicaid patients. "According to our 2003 survey results, 83 percent (up from 57 percent in 2000) of pediatrician respondents believe that low Medicaid payments have increasingly failed to cover visit overhead costs," said James Todd, MD, co-author of the study and Jules Amer Chair in Community Pediatrics.
"If Medicaid rates were increased to 100 percent of Medicare (about a 50 percent increase), more than half of pediatricians would be willing to accept more Medicaid patients. If Medicaid reimbursement rates were doubled, more than 80 percent of Colorado pediatricians indicated they would consider seeing more Medicaid patients and more than 65 percent of pediatricians would accept all Medicaid patients. This would result in increased access and overall healthier children."
Founded in 1908, The Children’s Hospital is a private, not-for-profit pediatric health care network dedicated to caring for kids. It has been ranked one of the best children’s hospitals in America by "U.S. News & World Report" for more than a decade.
With 1,130 pediatric specialists and more than 2,300 full-time employees, Children’s is home to a number of nationally and internationally recognized medical programs. From medical breakthroughs to late-night fevers, Children’s provides complete pediatric care at its main campus and through a network that includes five community-based after-hour care sites, eight specialty-care centers, and more than 400 outreach clinics held in three states each year.