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Medicare Patients’ Access to Physicians: A Synthesis of the Evidence

Congressional debates about the Medicare Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) raise questions about whether doctors are willing to see Medicare patients. This issue brief examines multiple data sources to assess beneficiaries’ access to physicians, particularly vulnerable beneficiaries with greater health needs and other disadvantages. It examines the share of doctors who are participating physicians as well as those who have opted-out of the Medicare program to privately contract with Medicare patients. It includes State analyses of rates of physicians who are accepting new Medicare patients as well as patients with private health insurance and Medicaid.

Research Brief: Insurance Coverage and Access to Care in Primary Care Shortage Areas

As both federal and state governments gear up to implement the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), concerns about the supply and distribution of physicians, particularly primary care physicians, are being raised. In many areas of the country, there is a shortage of primary care physicians, and some worry…

Physician Workforce: The Next Generation

The new health reform law poses questions about how the increase in the insured population will affect the demand on the health care workforce. Will it increase the shortage among primary care physicians? What about specialists? How much of the workforce shortage can be alleviated by payment incentives in the…

Trends in Medicaid Physician Fees, 2003-2008

This study, published in a Health Affairs Web exclusive, provides the first national and state-by-state update of Medicaid physician fees since 2003. Medicaid has historically reimbursed physicians under fee-for-service at levels below what Medicare and private health insurers would pay for the same services. The study finds that Medicaid fees…

Health Affairs Article: Impact of State Tort Reforms on Physician Malpractice Payments

A study in the March/April 2007 issue of Health Affairs analyzes the impact of state tort reforms on physician malpractice claims. The study finds that the tort law changes have had a measurable but limited impact on physician malpractice claims, depending on the type and strength of the tort reform. Commissioned by…