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Physician Wait Times Vary Sharply Among Major US Markets

John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, January 31, 2014

Not coincidentally, Boston has the highest rate of Medicaid acceptance tracked in the survey at 73%, while Dallas has the lowest at 23%. One in three people in Texas have no health insurance, the highest percentage of uninsured residents in the nation. Texas has vehemently rejected Medicaid expansion money offered by the federal government under Obamacare.

"Texas is still a fee-for-service bastion. We never really caught on with managed care," Mosley says. "The doctors see patients with insurance and Medicaid acceptance is low. And they when you look to see how many doctors per state it's odd because we don't have many doctors per state here in Texas, but they do see people."

Mosley says a lot of the demand for physician services has been taken up by advance practice nurses. "That is a real growth area in Texas. The scope of practice has expanded a lot in the state," he says.
Overall, the average rate of Medicaid acceptance for all five specialties in all 15 markets is 45.7%, the survey shows.

Other average physician appointment wait times tracked by the survey include 28 days to see a cardiologist in Denver, 49 days to see a dermatologist in Philadelphia, 35 days to see an OB/GYN in Portland, OR, 18 days to see an orthopedic surgeon in San Diego, and 26 days to see a family physician in New York.

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