Increased Medicaid payment and participation by office-based primary care pediatricians

Suk Fong S. Tang, Mark L. Hudak, Dennis M. Cooley, Budd N. Shenkin, Andrew D. Racine

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Background and Objectives: Whether the Medicaid primary care payment increase of 2013 to 2014 changed physician participation remains unanswered amid conflicting evidence. In this study, we assess national and state-level changes in Medicaid participation by officebased primary care pediatricians before and after the payment increase. Methods: Using bivariate statistical analysis, we compared survey data collected from 2011 to 2012 and 2015 to 2016 by the American Academy of Pediatrics from state-stratified random samples of pediatrician members. Results: By 4 of 5 indicators, Medicaid participation increased nationally from 2011 and 2012 to 2015 and 2016 (n = 10 395). Those accepting at least some new patients insured by Medicaid increased 3.0 percentage points (ppts) to 77.4%. Those accepting all new patients insured by Medicaid increased 5.9 ppts to 43.3%, and those accepting these patients at least as often as new privately insured patients increased 5.7 ppts to 55.6%. The average percent of patients insured by Medicaid per provider panel increased 6.0 ppts to 31.3%. Nonparticipants dropped 2.1 ppts to 14.6%. Of the 27 studied states, 16 gained in participation by 1 or more indicators, 11 gained by 2 or more, and 3 gained by all 5. Conclusions: Office-based primary care pediatricians increased their Medicaid participation after the payment increase, in large part by expanding their Medicaid panel percentage. Continued monitoring of physician participation in Medicaid at the national and state levels is vital for guiding policy to optimize timely access to appropriate health care for >37 million children insured by Medicaid.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere20172570
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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