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March 31, 2015

Report: Doctors in N.J. least willing to treat Medicaid patients

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03312015_Medicaid Eric Gay/AP

The healthcare overhaul known as Obamacare allowed more people to enroll in Medicaid and also gave states 90 percent to 100 percent reimbursements for new enrollees.

A new study ranks New Jersey last in the country for doctors willing to accept Medicaid patients under Obamacare, reports.

According to data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, only 38.7 percent of New Jersey physicians reported that they accepted new Medicaid patients in 2013. This is far below the national average of nearly 69 percent.

Following New Jersey was California, at 54.2 percent.
It's unclear how the expanded Medicaid program and the Affordable Care Act in general has affected physician practices in New Jersey. But a study released by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation last week said that while patient volume is increasing, it's not off the charts.

"Contrary to what many anticipated, physician waiting rooms aren't being flooded by sicker-than-average newly insured patients," Kathy Hempstead, who directs coverage issues at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, told "So far, the increase in demand is moderate, and new patients do not appear to differ much from established patients in terms of their chronic conditions."

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