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Capitol Health Call
August 10, 2011

Medicaid Referral Problems

JAMA. 2011;306(6):598. doi:10.1001/jama.2011.1119

Physicians treating low-income children enrolled in Medicaid or the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) have difficulties referring these children to specialty care, said the Government Accountability Office (GAO) in a report released June 30 (http://tinyurl.com/64tpxju).

In a 2010 survey of 932 physicians, most respondents reported that they see children enrolled in Medicaid and CHIP. Based on the survey, the GAO estimated that more than 83% of primary care and 71% of specialty care physicians are enrolled in these insurance programs to care for eligible children. The GAO report also indicated that while 79% of physicians enrolled in these programs are accepting all privately insured children as new patients, only about 47% are accepting children in Medicaid and CHIP.

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