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  • 2014 Survey of Patient Appointment Wait Times

     

    Physician Appointment Wait Times & Medicaid and Medicare Acceptance Rates

     
    As millions of previously uninsured Americans obtain healthcare coverage through the ACA, access to physician services becomes more critical. Merritt Hawkins’ 2014 Survey of Physician Appointment Wait Times and Medicaid and Medicare Acceptance Rates offers a snapshot of physician availability in 15 large metropolitan markets, many of them with physician-to-population ratios higher than the national average. 

    At 45.4 days, Boston has the highest cumulative average wait time for a physician appointment of the 15 metropolitan markets surveyed. Boston also had the highest average waits times when the survey was conducted in 2009 and 2004. The average appointment wait time to see a family physician ranged from a high of 66 days in Boston to a low of 5 days in Dallas. However, as the example of Boston illustrates, access to health insurance does not always guarantee access to a physician. In addition, the survey demonstrates that many if not most physicians in the 15 markets examined are not accepting Medicaid as a form of payment. It is our intention to bring the physician supply discussion into practical focus and to determine how health reform and related trends are affecting access to physician services.
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