Physicians drop out of new Medicaid plan

Cut or keep reimbursement at a flatline, increase paperwork, and doctors will like Medicaid even less. That's what's been happening in Florida since authorities kicked off a new pilot program moving beneficiaries into HMOs, according to new research by the Georgetown University Health Policy Institute. In 2005, former Florida governor Jeb Bush (R) signed a law creating the pilot program, which also caps spending growth at 8 percent over five years. Since that time, it appears that physicians have been giving Medicaid the boot. Of 186 doctors surveyed in two Florida counties, more than 25 percent of those who had previously participated said that they'd dropped out of the Medicaid program. A majority of doctors surveyed said that they'd been forced to do too much new paperwork and struggled to provide necessary care for children. Also, reimbursement stayed flat or declined. While researchers didn't obtain a statistical sample, and only 8 percent of targeted physicians responded to the survey, the results are still telling, researchers said.

To find out more about the study:
- read this Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report item