Testing their patients:
Medicaid patients wait longer to see doctors, study finds
“People want to focus on health care quality, but if you’ve ever had any experience with the health care system, you know there are a lot of nonhealth amenities associated with your visit.”
— Amy Finkelstein, John and Jennie S. MacDonald Professor of Economics
1 May 2017 | EXCERPT
Waiting to see a doctor is frustrating, as anyone who has spent too much time flipping through old magazines or warily eyeing coughing strangers can attest. According to a new study by MIT researchers, Medicaid patients experience more of this frustration than people with private health insurance.
Consider: Medicaid recipients are 20 percent more likely to wait more than 20 minutes to begin a scheduled appointment, compared to privately insured patients. The median wait time of Medicaid enrollees is longer as well. As the findings show, much — but not all — of this disparity is because Medicaid patients tend to use providers who generally have longer wait times for their patients.