Finding doctors that accept Medicaid can be challenging but worth it for seniors and their caregivers who have limited resources and health insurance.
I am going to take you through the steps to find a local doctor that does take Medicaid, and also some of the challenges that the recent passage of the health care law.
How To Find Doctors That Accept Medicaid
Not all doctors do but you can start your search by doing a search of your states Department of Health, which normally keeps listing of doctors and dentists that accept Medicaid.
For my home state of NY, you can take a look at the list of dentists accepting Medicaid by clicking here.
The surprising thing is that while it was easy to find a listing of dentists, I could find a listing online of doctors that accept Medicaid (more on why that might be below).
So instead on an online listing the next best thing would be for you to call your state health department and ask them if they maintain a list or a database of doctors and dentists that accept Medicaid.
To get a listing of the contact information, I found a list of all 50 states Department of Health contact info here for you. You can view it by clicking here.
In addition to the state office, you might want to try your local Department of Social Services or your local Office of the Aging if you are a senior citizen. They may keep a local database of this type of information.
I would also seek out charities or public clinics if you cannot find a local doctor that takes Medicaid. The first charity I thought of was Catholic Charities, and they are accessible throughout the USA at http://www.catholiccharitiesusa.org/.
Contact them and see if they can offer assistance.
As far as seeking out a public clinic, I found a nationwide database of clinics maintained by the Department of Health and Human Services which gives the contact information for local clinics in your area. Click here to access a local public health clinic.
Why Some Doctors Are Not Taking Medicaid
While researching this article, as I know that this topic will be of interest to seniors and their caregivers, I came across some disturbing information about the future of medical professionals willing to take Medicaid and the newly passed health care law.
According to a recent Washington Post article, about 1-in-3 doctors will no longer accept Medicaid as a result of changes in the nation’s health care system.
The findings of the article state that on a state-by-state basis (because states have flexibility over how much they pay doctors for Medicaid treatment) doctors in certain states, such as New York and New Jersey, are less likely to accept Medicaid than doctors from states like Alaska and Wyoming where Medicaid reimbursements are higher.
What it means is simple…as states deal with budget crunches, more and more doctors could opt out of accepting Medicaid. And that could be very bad for seniors.