KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

Some Doctors Refuse To See Obamacare Enrollees

Subscribers are running into closed doors from some doctors listed in their plans' networks, reports The Miami Herald. Meanwhile, Connecticut advocates express concern about how a proposed overhaul of the state's health care system could change Medicaid, and in Washington state, providers scramble to keep up with demand.

Miami Herald: Some South Florida Docs Decline To Accept Obamacare Insurance
After being without health insurance for two years, Miranda Childe of Hallandale Beach found a plan she could afford with financial aid from the government using the Affordable Care Act’s exchange. Childe, 60, bought an HMO plan from Humana, one of the nation’s largest health insurance companies, and received a membership card in time for her coverage to kick in on May 1st. But instead of being able to pick a primary care physician to coordinate her healthcare, Childe says she repeatedly ran into closed doors from South Florida doctors who are listed in her plan’s provider network but refused to see patients who bought their coverage on the ACA exchange (Chang, 7/12).

Seattle Times: Providers Mostly Keep Up With More Insured, But Worries Loom
The fear was this: The Affordable Care Act would give massive numbers of people new access to health care, creating a surge in demand for medical services and long waits to see the doctor. But in the seven months since new insurance plans began kicking in, Puget Sound-area primary-care providers so far seem to be keeping up with growing numbers of patients. The question now is, can they keep ahead of the demand as the formerly uninsured continue seeking care, and as baby boomers age and a sizable fraction of Washington’s physicians retire. In just the past year, Providence and Swedish clinics in Western Washington report a 10 percent increase in primary-care visits. But patients are waiting only four or five days for those appointments, and specialty and urgent-care services are available the same day (Stiffler, 7/12).

The CT Mirror: Health System Overhaul Plan Has Medicaid Advocates Worried
State officials are seeking millions of dollars in federal funds with the ambitious goal of redesigning how health care is paid for and delivered to the majority of Connecticut residents. But critics say a late addition to the application has the potential to significantly change Connecticut’s Medicaid program, in ways they worry could make it harder for low-income children and adults to receive care (Becker, 7/11).

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