2 months, 1 week ago medcitynews.com
Concern over Medicaid reimbursement and not enough Physicians raises concerns
Want to see your doctor? Get in line.
That's a concern of three veteran, independent physicians based in Bloomington -- Dr. Edward Pegg, Dr. Barry Slotky and Dr. John Wieland -- as the Affordable Care Act expands health insurance coverage to more Americans through the Health Insurance Marketplace, and by expanding Medicaid coverage.
"More people are going to get insurance. That sounds outstanding," began Slotky, an obstetrician/gynecologist. "But my concern is -- with the volume of people -- who's going to provide the care? There aren't enough doctors. Primary care doctors already are on a time clock."
Slotky continues to accept Medicaid patients. Wieland and Pegg -- like many physicians -- treat a limited number of Medicaid patients. They limit that number because getting reimbursed for treating them generally takes four months and the reimbursement is 70 to 80 percent of the cost of delivering care, said Wieland, a general surgeon.While the doctors said they are committed to helping the less fortunate, "If we treated only Medicaid patients, we wouldn't be in business very long," said Pegg, a neurologist.
Mid-level providers -- such as advance practice nurses -- will be leaned on to provide more patient care, but they need physician oversight, Slotky said.
"We can handle some of the increase but wait times will increase," he said.
Health systems are trying to recruit more primary care physicians, added Wieland.
"It takes seven years to make a primary care physician after college," he said. "The system can't crank 'em out fast enough." In the interim, there will be an increase in physicians from overseas, he said.