Primary Care Appointment Availability and the ACA Insurance Expansions

Molly Candon, Daniel E. Polsky, Brendan Saloner, Douglas Wissoker, Katherine Hempstead, Genevieve M. Kenney, Karin Rhodes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

In the current debate in Congress over the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the issue of provider access is a major concern. Fortunately, our 10-state audit study published in JAMA Internal Medicine finds that primary care appointment availability for new patients with Medicaid increased 5.4 percentage points between 2012 and 2016 and remained stable for patients with private coverage. Over the same period, both Medicaid patients and the privately insured experienced a one-day increase in median wait times. Higher appointment availability for Medicaid patients is a surprising result given the increase in demand for care from millions of new Medicaid enrollees. In this Issue Brief, we summarize our study’s findings, expand on possible explanations, and extend the analysis by examining the relationship between appointment availability and state-level Medicaid expansions. We find that access to primary care increased for Medicaid patients only in states that extended Medicaid eligibility to low-income, nonelderly adults. Combined, these results suggest coverage provisions in the ACA have not overwhelmed primary care capacity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-4
Number of pages4
JournalLDI issue brief
Volume21
Issue number5
StatePublished - Mar 1 2017
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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  • Cite this

    Candon, M., Polsky, D. E., Saloner, B., Wissoker, D., Hempstead, K., Kenney, G. M., & Rhodes, K. (2017). Primary Care Appointment Availability and the ACA Insurance Expansions. LDI issue brief, 21(5), 1-4.