NPR: California’s Medicaid Program Fails To Ensure Access To Doctors

NPR: California’s Medicaid Program Fails To Ensure Access To Doctors

By Anna Gorman

Terri Anderson signed up for California’s Medicaid program earlier this year, hoping she’d finally get treatment for her high blood pressure. But the insurer operating her Medicaid plan assigned the 57-year-old to a doctor across town from her Riverside, Calif., home and she couldn’t get there.

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There are numerous laws on the books requiring state monitoring and sufficient access to doctors. For example, California is required to determine that plans have enough doctors and that patients don’t have to travel too far to reach them. State officials also must do regular assessments of plans to determine whether they can meet their contractual obligations.

But just having laws isn’t enough to ensure that patients’ needs are met, says Abbi Coursolle, a staff attorney at the National Health Law Program. “Those standards are only as good as the state’s ability to enforce them,” she said. Read the full article here. »

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