Study: Appointment availability up after Medicaid expansion

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — A University of Michigan study says Medicaid recipients had an easier time scheduling a primary care appointment after Michigan’s expansion of Medicaid insurance to hundreds of thousands low-income adults under the federal health law.

Research released Wednesday says 49 percent of clinics offered an appointment to researchers posing as patients before the April 2014 expansion. Fifty-five percent of clinics offered an appointment after.

The school’s Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation reports its “secret shopper” study found 88 percent of clinics could take patients with private insurance before the expansion. Eighty-six percent would take them after.

Michigan requires expansion participants to see a doctor within three months of being covered. There has been worry that appointments would be hard to get. The study was published in the journal Health Affairs.

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