Q:

Why would a Florida doctor not accept Medicaid?

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Quick Answer

The Florida Medical Association identifies low reimbursement rates as one of the reasons that some doctors in Florida refuse to treat Medicaid patients, according to a 2013 report by the National Center for Policy Analysis. Another reason is the lack of capacity to treat new Medicaid patients because of a shortage of doctors.

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Full Answer

Doctors in Florida prefer patients with commercial insurance because of the high reimbursements they receive from those insurers, states the National Center for Policy Analysis report. For example, Medicaid programs pay only 40 cents on a dollar for primary care in comparison to the payments doctors receive from private insurers. When compared to Medicare reimbursements, Medicaid pays doctors 49 percent of what Medicare pays. This makes it difficult for patients with Medicaid coverage to find a doctor willing to treat them.

Florida doctors don't have the capacity to add new Medicaid patients because of the overwhelming number of patients they already see, states the National Center report. On average, a doctor in Florida treats more than 75 people per week, and about 30 percent of doctors treat more than 100 patients a week. The supply of doctors in Florida is limited, and the state cannot quickly satisfy the rising demand for doctors as of 2015.

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