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Medicaid expansion changes primary care doctors’ patient mix

President Obama signs the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
President Obama signs the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

So, how are the new Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) health insurance access programs affecting doctors’ offices?

Iyue Sung and Josh Gray, analysts at athenahealth, a medical practice management company, used their practice billing data to answer that question in a report distributed by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

The analysts found that patient volume has been about the same this year as it was in 2013.

In states that did not use PPACA funding to expand Medicaid, 6.4 percent of the adults who had primary care visits in the second had Medicaid coverage, up from 5.9 percent in the fourth quarter of 2013. About 5.8 percent were uninsured, down from 7 percent.

In the expansion states, 15.6 percent of the adult primary care patients had Medicaid, up from 12.3 percent in the fourth quarter. Just 3.3 percent were uninsured, down from 4.5 percent.

—Allison Bell
Expansion has not had much effect on visit volume.

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