New Study Finds Fewer Orthopedic Surgeons Seeing Kids Nowadays; Why?!Medical Malpractice Mistakes
Researchers posed as parents trying to make an appointment for their 10-year-old child with a broken arm with an orthopedic surgeon. There were two rounds of phone calls made; first as privately insured, and second covered by Medicaid. Out of the forty-five practices called in the study, only nineteen offered an appointment for the privately-insured child within a week. When this study was conducted ten years ago, all fifty out of the fifty practices called were able to schedule an appointment!
Even more shocking-only ONE of the practices set up an appointment for the kid covered by Medicaid! Even when asked by the investigator if the office could refer to another orthopedic surgeon who took Medicaid patients, only nine of the forty-five offices could name one! While is should not be as surprising because it is well-known that people on Medicaid do have trouble getting health care-particularly because public insurance does not pay as much as private insurance-these children are in as much need for health care as the privately insured counterparts.
Further, both sets of children are insured. Yet, they still do not have unfettered access to medical care for treatment! One scary prediction by the lead researcher is that with the health care reform, which will increase the number of people insured, might lead to more clinics “ducking” away from certain patients! However, that was countered that as long as the health care reform also increases reimbursement rates for clinics there will be enough of an incentive to help overcome this issue.
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