Health reform may expand coverage, but survey of doctors warn they can’t accept new patients

Federal health reform will extend Medicaid health coverage to an additional 100,000 Connecticut residents, but a new survey shows they may not have a doctor willing or able to accept their Medicaid coverage.

The national survey of nearly 1,500 family physicians, general practitioners and internists found most of those currently accepting Medicaid patients have limited ability to accept more. State health advocates have been warning of the same problem facing the state.

“The additional capacity they can offer will be limited by the additional hours they can work, and patient wait times for an appointment could increase,” the report said about the doctors who have historically been the most likely to accept new Medicaid patients. “Other [doctors] will also be needed to ensure access to primary care as millions of adults gain Medicaid eligibility beginning in 2014.”