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Research Letter
January 2018

Declining Medicaid Fees and Primary Care Appointment Availability for New Medicaid Patients

Author Affiliations
  • 1Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia
  • 2Urban Institute, Washington, DC
  • 3Department of Health Policy and Management, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, Maryland
  • 4Department of Emergency Medicine and Psychiatry, Hofstra Northwell School of Medicine, Manhasset, New York
  • 5Department of Health Care Management, Wharton School, and the Department of General Internal Medicine, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia
JAMA Intern Med. 2018;178(1):145-146. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2017.6302

Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), Medicaid fees for primary care physicians were raised to Medicare levels in 2013 and 2014. The size of the federally funded increase varied widely, as Medicaid fees were close to Medicare levels in some states and Medicaid paid less than half for the same services in other states.1 A previous study found that higher Medicaid fees in 2014 were associated with increased primary care appointment availability for new Medicaid patients.2 Now that most states have returned to lower fee levels, it is time to examine whether declining Medicaid fees are associated with decreased primary care appointment availability for new Medicaid patients.

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