Introduction: Medicaid expansion under PPACA (Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act) sought to increase access to health care by expanding access to insurance. The association between access to Medicaid and access to urological health care, however, has not been tested to our knowledge. To test this association we performed a prospective, survey based analysis of Medicaid acceptance rates and new appointment wait times for a patient seeking urological care. This study presents baseline data collected prior to Medicaid expansion in 2014. Methods: A primary cohort representing 20% of all urological surgeons in a nationwide database was surveyed using a simulated patient script. The data were collected in November 2013 prior to Medicaid expansion. The primary outcome measures were Medicaid acceptance and new patient appointment wait times. A practice level, secondary cohort was also analyzed. Results: A total of 650 urological surgeons were successfully sampled in the primary cohort, of whom 271 (41.7%) did not accept any Medicaid, 205 (31.5%) accepted some but not all Medicaid and 174 (26.8%) accepted all Medicaid insurance plans. The median wait time for a new patient appointment was 18 days. Medicaid acceptance rates were similar in the secondary cohort. The percentage of urologists accepting all forms of Medicaid varied by state, ranging from 10% to 90%. Conclusions: Medicaid patient access to urological care is restricted, suggesting that access to Medicaid insurance coverage may not translate into access to urological care. Subsequent data collection will assess trends in Medicaid patient access to urological care following Medicaid expansion.
- Health policy
- Health services accessibility
- Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act
ASJC Scopus subject areas