Will Universal Health Insurance Assure Universal Access to Ongoing Primary Care for Adults?
Samuel Cykert, MD;
Rita T. Layson, MD
Arch Fam Med. 1993;2(11):1153-1155.
To assess the impact of current public insurance status (Medicare and Medicaid) and hypothetical payment levels of a new insurance program on physician acceptance of adult primary care patients desiring continuing care.
Survey of 175 primary care physicians in a mediumsized city and six surrounding counties in North Carolina. Main Outcome Measure: Likelihood of accepting new continuing care patients covered by Medicare, Medicaid, or a hypothetical health insurance system mandated to cover the uninsured.
The response rate was 80%; 86% of the respondents were accepting new patients with private insurance. Of the remaining physicians, 72% were not accepting new continuing care patients covered by Medicaid and 55% were not accepting patients who paid via Medicare assignment alone. Seventy-nine percent of respondents were unlikely to accept new continuing care patients insured by a hypothetical public plan that reimbursed physicians at 60% of reimbursement levels provided by privately insured patients, compared with only 25% who were unlikely to accept patients if the reimbursement was 80% of the private level.
Medicaid and Medicare do not assure access to continuing primary care. Also, physician reimbursement is an important determinant in any new health care system designed to provide universal and consistent access to regular primary care services.
From the Internal Medicine Teaching Program, Moses H. Cone Memorial Hospital, Greensboro, NC.
THIS ARTICLE HAS BEEN CITED BY OTHER ARTICLES
Factors Affecting Access to Medical Care
Arch Fam Med 1994;3:308-308.