As we have all heard and it varies from state to state that sometimes there’s a long imagewait to get an appointment with primary care and other specialty doctors.  In addition to setting an appointment as a new patient they will also be looking to gain information as to whether or not private insured patients are given any specific advantages as far as being given an appointment over a Medicare or Medicaid patient. 

All data collected will be held confidential and some pediatrician offices will be queried as well.  We all know there is a shortage of doctors and I guess this survey will lend a little more light and find out how many offices do not take Medicaid patients as well.  There are quite a few of those in all states and I know in California it’s a struggle to find a doctor who takes Medicaid as the referring doctor may spend a few hours finding a doctor who will honor Medicaid.  Also in California there are some doctors who will see pregnant Medicaid patients as that is the only high area of reimbursement within Medicaid.  I had one client a number of years ago that did only that, saw Medicaid patients who were pregnant and after delivery the patients were on their own to move on to another doctor.  BD

In the mystery shopper survey, administration officials said, a federal contractor will call the offices of 4,185 doctors — 465 in each of nine states: Florida, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Mexico, North Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and West Virginia. The doctors will include pediatricians and obstetrician-gynecologists.

According to government documents obtained from Obama administration officials, the mystery shoppers will call medical practices and ask if doctors are accepting new patients and, if so, how long the wait would be.

The government is eager to know whether doctors’ offices give different answers to callers depending on whether they have public insurance, like Medicaid, or private insurance, like Blue Cross and Blue Shield.

Secret survey to gauge doctor access - The Boston Globe


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